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Try to help others, no matter what the circumstances
Thinking of God
Larry Sheehy
Larry Sheehy

Sometimes, doing what is right can be dangerous.  Once a rarely used term, but a significant part of our vocabulary today, is the word “litigious,” as in “We live in a litigious society.”  It’s hard to pick up the newspaper without reading of another lawsuit by someone against somebody.  

And the reason needn’t be serious, either.  (In spite of the fact that the definition of “serious” may depend on one’s position.)  

Of course, as has been noted by someone, money is always serious!

An item in the Wall Street Journal noted that a significant increase in malpractice lawsuits over the last several years has led to a sharp decline in the number of professional ministers willing to counsel people with emotional needs. Churches often make sure that malpractice protection (once a rarely used item) is part of their insurance package.  

In the words of one church official, “Ministers are in a state of 'anxious paralysis' over litigation,” often rendered ineffective in their efforts to provide effective spiritual support to others. This obviously doesn’t apply to all. But the problem is real, nevertheless.

Christians, whether paid or volunteer, need to minister to the needs of others.  The spiritually mature are encouraged to reach out to those entrapped by the devil (See Galatians 6:1-3). They are urged to do so with humility, but to reach out nevertheless.  Helping to ease the spiritual burdens of others is a vital part of Christ’s will. The words of the beautiful hymn by Ida Guirey come to mind:

“Jesus, Rose of Sharon, balm for every ill, / May Thy tender mercy’s healing pow’r distil / For afflicted souls of weary, burdened men, / Giving needy mortals health and hope again. / Jesus, Rose of Sharon, / Bloom in radiance and in love / Within my heart.” 

The love of Jesus is to be extended to others from the hearts of those who know it — even when it’s unappreciated.

Jesus said that a light kept under a basket benefits no one (Matthew 5:15).  An inland lighthouse will sink no ships. Is there someone who needs your help spiritually?  Are there needs that God has given you the resources to meet?  Would someone benefit by a demonstration of the compassion of Christ from you?  

If you have the opportunity of encouragement and meeting the needs of others, then use it joyfully and faithfully, trusting in the guidance of God (Romans 12:8; 1 Timothy 4:14).

Soldiers learn that, sometimes, the only way to get to the other side of a mine field is through it.  We should exercise wisdom in our relationships with others.  But let’s not let the devil scare us away from reflecting the love of Christ, even if it means having to “tiptoe through a minefield!”

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