When was the last time you dropped everything and helped somebody out?
A few weeks ago, the speaker at my church reminded the congregation of an important area of Christian life: servanthood. He asked, “When someone tells you about a problem they’re going through, do you just let them know you’ll pray for them and move on with your life? Or do you ask them if there’s anything you can do to help in addition to praying?”
We’ve gotten ourselves into quite a predicament. When someone mentions a problem or issue they’re struggling with, our answer is immediately something along the lines of, “Oh man! I’ll be praying about that for you!”. The fact that we’re praying is not the problem. The issue is that we sometimes resort to prayer as an easy way out. We’ve gotten so used to quickly offering up prayers for those in need that we forget it isn’t just prayers that can be used to serve!
“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” | Saint Augustine
Don’t get me wrong, y’all. Prayers are effective. Our Father hears every one of them. However, if we aren’t careful, prayers can sometimes be the “lazy way out of helping someone.” And if half of us were being honest, we would probably admit that sometimes, we forget to even say that prayer that is so quickly offered. It’s important to also keep in mind that God has given us the resources, the energy and the time to help our brothers and sisters out! So let’s do so!
Let’s say a friend tells you they have a test the next day. In addition to praying, you can also offer to help them review for their test if they need the extra practice with material. Or what if one of your friends tells you that they’re nervous about confronting a friend they’ve been having issues with. Ask them if they’d like to practice what they’re going to say on you so that they are wise with their words when the time comes for confrontation. I know that these are totally random examples, but I hope you get what I mean by saying all of this!
The next time someone asks you for help, or shares with you a problem that they are going through, please do pray for them! But I want to challenge you to go one step further: Ask them how you can help. Even if it’s doubtful that you could be of service in any way, the simple act of asking this question will mean so much to the other person.
So tell me, how are you going to serve?
… do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. | Philippians 2:4