John 5:7 “The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.”
“No man is an island.”
John Donne wrote this statement arguing the interconnectedness man has with God and each other. Man cannot live alone for long. We need each other.
To be loved, accepted, and secure are needs we experience as a child and never really abandon throughout our life. When all are our needs are met, we feel at peace. When they are a deficit, we will either search them out or numb ourselves from feeling the need.
In this biblical account, the impotent man had been waiting for thirty-eight years for his opportunity to be healed. He had probably felt every emotion from frustration to anger to despair. Yet, he remained at the pool for his chance to be healed.
Pride often keeps us from asking for help. Self-sufficiency can be a two-edged sword if we do not accurately recognize the times we need assistance. God’s Word does not mince words with regard to man’s condition.
Psalm 14:1-3 “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
Romans 3:10-12 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
When God says ‘none,’ He is absolute. No exceptions. Especially when the good is righteousness, man can never achieve that level of goodness by himself.
How does one go about discerning what is good help and what is bad?
The standard always remains the same – God’s Word.
We often justify our beliefs and actions, but if they do not line up with God’s Word, we are wrong. It may have every look and feel that it fits and is right. But our hearts cannot be trusted.
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
We have homeless that will stand at an intersection, begging for money for food.
Jesus said: Matthew 26:11 “For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.”
We should always help if and when we can.
Proverbs 3:27-28 “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.”
We reveal our selfishness when we fail to help those in need. Whether it be food, clothing, shelter, or the gospel, we must ready and willing to do what we can when the opportunity presents itself.
Jesus reminds us to be ready and willing to be what He wants us to be for others. Whether it be our family, our brothers and sisters in Christ, our neighbors, or the stranger on the street corner, we must be open to hear and obey the Holy Spirit as He leads and guides.
We try to justify one as ‘worthy’ of our help. Our Savior’s example was that He died for all. We may not be called to give the ultimate sacrifice, yet, a sacrifice may well be needed.
Today, let us not neglect those we may randomly meet, and may we be ready to answer for the hope that is in us.