Monday, June 11, 2018

Pastor's Ponderings, June 11, 2018

You Are Your Neighbor’s Keeper

In the July 2, 2017, issue of Think Big, Philip Perry wrote, “Today, being white and male are the two single greatest risk factors for suicide in the US.”  According to the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics(NCHS), suicides increased from 42,773 in 2014 to 44,965 in 2016. On average, adjusted for age, the annual U.S. suicide rate increased 24% between 1999 and 2014…the highest rate recorded in 28 years.” Just like the deaths of celebrities Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, the anguish of suicide reverberates long after their passing.

We may never understand or understand too well the mental health state and circumstances that lead to the total despair of those who terminated their life. Their smiles and jokes may hide terrible pain.  Although this world’s system is “dog eat dog,” we in the body of Christ must be aware of those around us.

The Bible tells us that men ought to always pray (Luke 18:1).  Your prayers can help comfort someone who feels lost and in pain (James 5:16). They may also need prescriptions to help their illness or encouragement to seek other medical or psychological treatments.

The body of Christ has been placed in particular places and times to work God’s work (John 9:4).  Have we ignored that woman could use a free babysitter?  Have we forgotten to invite the co-worker to dinner when we have our festivities?  Have we overlooked the lonely senior citizen who thinks life is no longer worth living? Perhaps an encouraging word, perhaps a smile or a friendly conversation may help them out of their spiral of depression.  When we are praying, are we focusing on our own needs rather than the needs of others? 

Let us take a moment and think about those around us, those who we have lost contact with, those who have had tragic life events, and those whom God sends across our mind.  Let us pray and ask God for His help for them.  Perhaps we may be the last person to throw them a lifeline before their final solution. Yes, we are our neighbor’s keeper. 

Luke 18:1
New International Version (NIV)
18 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

James 5:16
New International Version (NIV)
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

John 9:4
New International Version (NIV)
As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.

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