Over the years I have had the opportunity to labor with so many wonderful people. I have preached in Illinois, Missouri, Virginia, and Iowa. I have gone overseas to Norway and met with the saints there. I have traveled and met with saints all over the states. (Although I realize that I am nowhere nearly as traveled as others preachers I know). One thing that I have learned over the years is that Christians are often blind. We like to think of ourselves being enlightened. We like to think of ourselves of being able to clearly see the truth of God’s word. We like to think of ourselves as being able to see what ails the world. We like to think of ourselves as being able to see the cure that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But, my friends, we are blind.
While we might see the problems that the world clearly has, we often fail to see the problems that are right under our noses. Jesus alluded to this in Matt. 7 when he spoke of the one trying to get the speck out of his brother’s eye all while having a plank protruding out of his own eye. It is ridiculous to think that the one with a plank in his eye is capable of seeing clearly enough to help the person with a speck in his eye. And while the world like to say that is evidence that we ought to be leaving people’s “specks and eyes” alone, that is not what Jesus is saying. What Jesus is saying is that we need to clear our vision. We need to wake up, open our eyes, and remove anything that might be hindering us from seeing so that we can effectively help those that can’t see.
What are Christians missing? What are they failing to see? I think we are failing to see those that are silently crying out for help. In my first work I knew of a brother in Christ who had gone the better part of a year without work. It was not the church who came to his aid, but those of the world. When he confronted the church about it, they reply was “we didn’t know.” I knew of another brother in Christ who was abusing prescription drugs. He was addicted to pain killers and managed to have every pharmacist in town supplying him the drugs he convinced himself he needed. He was in desperate need of help. Most of the saints in that church thought he was just a little peculiar. What they didn’t know is that he was “off” because he was an addict. In every church I have been a member of there was a sister or brother in Christ suffering with depression. These are often ignored. Usually we think that they are just a little sad, maybe a little quiet. We fail to see the real problem is that they are dying on the inside.
Why do we not see them? Maybe it is because we don’t want to get involved. Sure, we want to see the gospel spread. We want to see the world get better, but for the most part we don’t really want to get involved in that either. (That is what we have a preacher for right?) In a similar fashion we think it is the preacher’s job, the elders’ job, or the deacons’ job to take care of those that are crying out for help. We need to open the drawbridge that we have placed over our heart. We need to fill in the moat around our heart we have created to keep people at arm’s distance. My friends I promise you that wherever it is that you worship there are those in dire need of help. Open up your eyes and you will see them; and as Jesus says in Matt. 7. As soon as you can see clearly, help them.