Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. —Ecclesiastes 5:2a, NLT
When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said. — Numbers 30:2, NIV
A week or so ago, I found myself in an embarrassing situation. I am ashamed to even admit it now. A friend had asked me to remember a loved one in prayer. The loved one was having some health issues and they were worried. Of course, my answer was, “Sure. I will.” And I did in fact pray for that person. Once. And then it left my mind completely. I never checked back on this family. I never shared this concern with others who could join in prayer. I truly didn’t think about it again.
Then, a week or two later, I found out the person I prayed for was still having health problems. The worry was still there for this family. The fear still real. And I had forgotten about it. I had not made it important enough in my mind to follow up and continue prayer when it was certainly needed.
What kind of friend was I? Was the love of Christ evident in my life when I so quickly forgot about a friend’s need?
We live in a culture of small talk and meaningless conversation. That might sound a little harsh, but it’s true, nonetheless. How many times in a day do we walk by someone and ask, “How are you?”…..
Do we ever stop long enough to hear the answer? And do we really expect or hope for any answer other than ’fine’? We live in a busy society. Our lives are filled with obligations and schedules on overload.
We don’t have time . No, we don’t make time to really check on others.
How many times have you told someone, “Call me if you need me.”…… “Let me know if there is anything I can do.”
Do you really expect to get that phone call? Do you really hope to? Most of us would be caught off guard if the call actually came. We might even make an excuse or feel inconvenienced.
People are hurting in this world. People are in pain. Do we truly take time to care? To pray? To reach out to help? People DO need in their time of trials and pain. People need commitments to prayer. People need help.
Instead of putting the burden on the person in need, reach out yourself. Ask specifically what you can do to help. Offer suggestions. Let them know you are truly ready to help. And if you aren’t, don’t say it. Mean what you say and say what you mean.
In the past, when I have been in crisis, I would have NEVER asked for help. But when someone just showed up with food, I didn’t turn them away. I was so grateful. It’s not that I didn’t want help. I was just to proud to ask for it. When someone offered to watch my kids to give me a break, I said, ’Ok.’ I would have never asked, but I needed it desperately.
The Bible is very clear on being true to our word. It warns us to be careful about the utterances of our mouths. If you say you will do something, do it. If you want to help someone, do it.
Don’t just talk about it.
Don’t just pretend to care.
True friends are few and far between.