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Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Help for the Hurting
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter” -Matt. 7:21 As you have no doubt heard, Robin Williams died yesterday. I know a lot of people die everyday, but we wake up and notice when a famous person or someone close to us passes away. We all struggle to make sense of the fact that he died by killing himself. Unfortunately, thousands of people are dying in Africa as well, but that doesn’t hit us quite so hard. It seems when it’s close to home, we wake up to the reality of death. People comment about “raising the awareness of mental illness.” Apparently, Williams’ struggled with Bi-polar disorder. There is always an outcry when the illness affects us. But it’s not about being aware. Most people are clearly aware that people have mental struggles. This side of heaven, we all are “damaged goods.” The real question is what are we doing to help those with debilitating mental illness? Being aware of a problem is worthless- helping someone with their problem is priceless. People comment about Williams going to hell. I firmly believe that there is a heaven and hell. We will all live for eternity either in the presence of God or separate from God. We are brought into the presence of God through a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is available only because of His death on the cross as a bridge between sinful man and perfect God. But we are never instructed to judge anyone. That is God’s business. We simply do not know. Salvation is a decision of the heart that no one sees. We use the “I don’t see any fruit” device, but again, we don’t know. When I was a teenager at a youth summer camp, we received word that a classmate of ours had died back in Fort Worth in a motorcycle accident. We all grieved his loss because he was a “partier who probably didn’t go to heaven.” Our leader rebuked us. “We have no right to judge,” he said. “Respect his loss,” he instructed us. I’m convinced we’ll all be surprised at the finish line of life. People we thought were “lost” will be winners and people we thought were “spiritual” will be left behind. The point is, we should focus on ourselves, our obedience to share our faith, and our responsibility to love those around us. Jesus said as much in Matthew. Check out the verse at the top. The judging is up to God- not us. Our call is to care, bear and share the truth of God’s love. People comment about how someone so funny could kill himself. People commit suicide more often than we would like to admit. Thousands die everyday. It’s the second leading cause of death for teenagers. Most have been severely depressed. Most are stuffers. Why? Because we like to hide our struggles. We cover up any deficiencies and flaws because pride wants to rule our hearts. Behind too many shaky smiles is a hurting heart. And hurting hearts can only be helped by being open, vulnerable and trusting. Hurting hearts are only truly healed by the touch of a loving God though loving friends. Robin Williams died, never to return. But many are still alive. Let them be our focus. We are all aware of mental illness- now let’s step out of our comfort zone and help someone through his or her struggle. Give them a ride, take them to lunch, be there to listen. Reach out in love. Let’s not be shy about sharing our faith. A relationship with Jesus Christ is the only path to salvation. Exclusive, yes, but wide open to everyone. May we all be willing to be used. May we all be open to loving the hurting in this world. And may we all be open to being loved by others. Robin Williams played the therapist Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting. He commented to his client, Will, one day, “You don’t know about real loss because it only occurs when you’ve loved someone more than you love yourself. I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much.” Robin Williams is gone. But if you’re reading this, you’re still here, for now anyway. As Jesus did, dare to love others more than yourself… …and then you’ll truly live. By Eric Joseph Staples © www.lifeaid101.com
Posted by Joseph Staples at 5:42 PM
Labels: counseling, grieving, helping, judging, loving
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