The Christian Copout

"Öno one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life" (Psalm 142:4, NIV).

It greatly saddens me that, in our culture today, little compassion is shown for the sick, lonely and hurting. This is true even in many churches today. Emily Chapman, Steven Curtis Chapmanís daughter, says, "I look at the life of Jesus, and then I look at the Christianity pervading the world around me, and Iím not at all surprised that people donít connect the two." I definitely agree, and consider this lack of effort by Christians today to reach out in tangible ways to those who are suffering a huge copout. We are commanded to be Christís hands and feet to those who suffer, and not only is this lack of effort to show compassion for others unbiblical, it brings dishonor to the Name of Jesus Christ.

If we look at Jesusí life in the Gospels, we see Someone who reached out and ministered to others and practiced what He preached. Christ came to preach the good news to the poor, mend broken hearts and set captives free (Isa. 58:6-9). Jesus delighted in healing others and was not afraid to touch lepers and blind men and other outcasts of society (Matt. 8:1-4; Matt. 9:27-31). He told people to love others and deny themselves, and thatís exactly what He did. Jesus is our example. He was never too busy to take time for people. Where do you see this kind of radical Christianity modeled today?

Those of us who struggle with chronic illness/pain not only face the pain and struggle of the illness, the isolation and emotional detachment it causes, but also the misunderstanding of people. When others fail us, we must think on Christ and His Cross and remember that Jesus, who "lives to make intercession for us," truly understands the pain and aloneness of suffering. The Psalmist gives us insight into our Saviorís terrible suffering on the cross (Ps. 116:3; Ps. 69:20; Ps. 142:4). We must look daily to Jesus, our Great High Priest, for He alone knows the struggles that we face (Heb. 4:15).

Dear Jesus, you know our struggles and our pain. Thank You that You intercede for us daily.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tammi has suffered with Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (or "CFIDS") for almost fifteen years. When able, she enjoys swimming, cooking, sewing, writing and traveling. Tammiís passion is encouraging others with chronic illnesses to draw closer to Jesus Christ and find hope and strength in Him. Take a minute to visit her website at

www.lordhelpmyhusband.com

.