Do You Care?

The world we are living in is a very hurting place. Every day we hear so much of negativity, crimes, problems in relationships all around us. What is my response to the hurtful world outside there? How can I be the light and salt to this world? Do you think you can impact your family, colleagues, and the society at large and be a blessing?

Six attitudes to be a blessing to the people around you.

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the word “attitude” means “an internal position or feeling with regard to something else.” The synonyms of attitude are: “feeling, mood, opinion, sentiment, temper, tone, perspective, frame of mind, outlook, or view.”

Airplane pilots often use “attitude” to describe their horizontal relationship with the runway then they land. If their attitude isn’t aligned properly, the plane will make contact with the ground at the wrong angle and it will cause them to crash.

In essence, your attitude is your inward disposition toward other things, such as people or circumstances. As in with an airplane, attitude is applied whenever you must deal with something other than yourself. Do you care in your attitudes to be a blessing to others?

According to God’s word, when you become a Christian, a part of your new creation is the development of new attitudes, that care for others around you.

Philippians 2:5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

I want to bring to you simple attitudes that can make you a blessed child of God. This do not cost money. These attitudes can bless others, make our life more purposeful and fulfilling. So we can afford to develop them.

1. Care to be a healer.

We are living in a very hurtful world. And there are far too many “hurters” in the world today. People use knives and guns to hurt people. The world is shocked by the killing of 26 people at a Texas Baptist Church by Devin Patrick Kelly on Sunday worship on November 5, 2017. This crime was committed by a man who was hurt by his family. While some use force others use hateful and bitter words to hurt those around them.

Jesus told the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. Jesus was trying to explain how we should treat our neighbors. Jesus told a story. A man was beaten, robbed, & left to die beside the road. Three people happened to come along in succession. The first was a priest. Now you know a priest would help. But no, not this man! He didn’t want to get involved. Was he late for an appointment? Or if he helped would it might have messed up his robe? So he just crossed over to the other side of the road & passed the man by.

A Levite came along next. Perhaps he felt that he just didn’t have time for this. It wasn’t his fault the man was in trouble. Besides, no one would know. So he, too, passed on by.

And then the Samaritan came along. Remember, the Samaritans were at the bottom of the social strata. No one would help him if he were the one lying there. But he had pity on the man. He bandaged his wounds, put the injured man on his own donkey, & took him into town. To put it into modern terms, he took him to The Marriott, registered him for a room there, & put it all on his own credit card. He also told the manager, “If he needs to stay longer, just add it to my bill.”

Then Jesus turned to the crowd of Jews who were listening to the parable & said, “Go & do likewise.” It is rather disappointing that we specifically call him the “good” Samaritan. Wouldn’t it be so much better if we thought of his behavior as “normal” human behavior? We should all be the kind of person he was.

And in this same spirit Apostle Paul said in Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

So the first thing we can strive to become is a “healer,” not a “hurter.” Yes, I realize that sometimes this attitude may cost you something, just as it cost the Good Samaritan, but Oh, what a reward you will receive!

2. Care to be an encourager.

Romans 12:8 If it is (your gift) to encourage, then give encouragement.

Illustration: Cricket is a sport that has caught our nation by fire. Cricketers are picked after their talents and fitness are proven. Every country has high class players.

On a given day, any team can beat another one. But there is one factor that helps win more games. It is called “home ground advantage.” Teams generally win most of the games that are played “at home,” in front of their own fans. Now the courts are almost all the same size. The ball and pitch is the same dimension. There is basically no difference in playing in one ground or another. But teams win consistently in front of their own fans their supporters, their boosters.

A encourager is one who stands by your side, who cheers you on to victory. There is power in the home court advantage. Teams are brought to peak performance. They just win more in front of their own supporters.

It works that way for families too. Husbands & wives should be one- another’s greatest cheerleaders. Parents should support their kids.

You can genuinely praise them into greatness. Kids should know that their greatest fans are their parents. And kids should support their parents, too. What a difference it would make if everyone in the family really supported one another.

In Acts, Barnabas was called “Son of Encouragement.” Acts 4:36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas(which means “son of encouragement”).

Barnabas & Paul were selected by the Holy Spirit to travel to spread the Good News about Jesus. Barnabas had a nephew named John Mark. And he encouraged John Mark to go with them on the trip. But as they traveled, some difficulty arose. We’re not told what it was. Perhaps the going was just too tough, or maybe John Mark got homesick. Whatever the reason, John Mark quit & returned back home.

A few years later, when Paul & Barnabas were preparing to go on a 2nd missionary journey, Barnabas wanted to take John Mark along again, but Paul refused. He didn’t want to take a quitter again. So Paul & Barnabas decided to split their efforts & go as 2 mission teams. Barnabas would take John Mark, & Paul would choose a new partner, Silas.

We don’t hear about John Mark again until years later, near the end of Paul’s life. Paul was in prison in Rome, writing to Timothy with instructions about coming to visit him. 2 Timothy 4:11 Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.

Paul was genuinely upset with Mark but towards the end of his life he made it up and I feel he regretted for his anger against John Mark and encouraged John Mark, whereas Barnabas here was always forgiving and encouraging. Some people seem to have the knack of showing you where you went wrong. Others have the gift of encouraging you to do better, to try again.

We thank God for the Barnabases in this world those who keep believing in us. They tell us we can do it. They’re heavy on compassion & ready with a helping hand when we fall.

Many of the greatest leaders of our day would not be where they are if not for an encourager in their lives. It doesn’t cost money to be an encourager.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Proverbs 16:24 Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.

Illustration: A college professor had his sociology class go into the Baltimore slums to get case histories of 200 young boys. They were asked to write an evaluation of each boy’s future. In every case the students wrote, “He hasn’t got a chance.” Twenty-five years later another sociology professor came across the earlier study. He had his students follow up on the project to see what had happened to these boys. With the exception of 20 boys who had moved away or died, the students learned that 176 of the remaining 180 had achieved more than ordinary success as lawyers, doctors and businessmen.

The professor was astounded and decided to pursue the matter further. Fortunately, all the men were in the area and he was able to ask each one, “How do you account for your success?” In each case the reply came with feeling, “There was a teacher.”

The teacher was still alive, so he sought her out and asked the old but still alert lady what magic formula she had used to pull these boys out of the 41 slums into successful achievement. The teacher’s eyes sparkled and her lips broke into a gentle smile. “It’s really simple,” she said. “I loved those boys and encouraged them.”

If we as parents or friends want to motivate our family members or people around us, we must be encouragers. We must choose to give sincere appreciation and honest praise for even the slightest good that people do. Thus we can spur others to greater achievements in life.

3. Care to be a listener.

The third thing that you can become that doesn’t cost money is a “listener.”

Illustration: A few years ago a man placed an ad in the “Personal” section of the news-paper that said: I’ll listen to your troubles, $20 per call.” And he got lots of takers.

Real communication, or the lack of it, is behind many of the hurts we experience. Do you ever feel as if you’re not getting through or that you’re not really being heard?

Some poll report that husbands & wives spend about 37 minutes per week talking to each other. And they also stated that parents with children speak even lesser on a given week. If you really want to do something that doesn’t cost money, that other people need, become a listener.

James 1:19 Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

Illustration: The story is told of Franklin Roosevelt, who often endured long receiving lines at the White House. He complained that no one really paid any attention to what was said. One day, during a reception, he decided to try an experiment. To each person who passed down the line and shook his hand, he murmured, “I murdered my grandmother this morning.” The guests responded with phrases like, “Marvelous! Keep up the good work. We are proud of you. God bless you, sir.” It was not till the end of the line, while greeting the ambassador from Bolivia, that his words were actually heard. Nonplussed, the ambassador leaned over and whispered, “I’m sure she had it coming.”

Lessons on listening

a. Listening requires patience.

b. Listening is an act of love.

c. Good listening makes us respond well.

Proverbs 18:13 To answer before listening—that is folly and shame.

We ask perceptive questions when we listen.

4. Care to be a forgiver.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Luke 6:37 Forgive and you will be forgiven.

Forgive people because they need it. Forgive because you need it. Grudge-bearing is harder on the “grudger” than the “grudgee.” Forgive when they did it to you on purpose. Forgive your parents for failing you. Forgive your children.

Illustration: When Thomas Edison and his staff were developing the incandescent light bulb, according to Ken Sande, it took hundreds of hours to manufacture a single bulb. One day, after finishing a bulb, notes Sande, Edison handed it to a young errand boy and asked him to take it upstairs to the testing room. As the boy turned and started up the stairs, he stumbled and fell, and the bulb shattered on the steps. Instead of rebuking the boy, Edison reassured him and then turned to his staff and told them to start working on another bulb. When it was completed several days later, Edison demonstrated the reality of his forgiveness in the most powerful way possible. He walked over to the same boy, handed him the bulb, and said, “Please take this up to the testing room.”

Jesus taught forgiveness. Matthew 6:14-15 14For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 18:21-22 21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. In other words, be a perpetual forgiver.

The crowning example of forgiveness is in Jesus’ words on the cross: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) They didn’t think that they needed forgiveness. But forgiving is what Jesus was doing on Calvary. So be a “forgiver.” People need it so badly, & it doesn’t cost; it pays!

Practical steps to forgive

a. Recognize no one is perfect.

b. Relinquish your right to get even.

c. Respond to evil with good.

d. Refocus on God’s plan for your life.

5. Care to be a helper.

Hebrews 13:16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

God is the greatest helper. God picked Moses to help lead them out of slavery in Egypt. But Moses was full of excuses: “They won’t listen to me. I’m not a good speaker. Please send someone else.”

God reassured Moses of His divine help. He also gave him Aaron as his personal helper with the task. The result was the rescue of the Israelite nation & the subsequent coming of Jesus Christ into the world. God isn’t going to leave any of us without help.

The Book of Nehemiah tells of the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem. There were opposing forces who didn’t want the job done. But the walls were rebuilt in spite of enormous obstacles. One of the keys to their success is seen in the expression, “next to him” (mentioned 11 times in Nehemiah 3). They helped each other. One took over where the other one left off. Many hands make light work. And in this case, this “helping” provided fellowship, encouragement, &  security.

So be a helper. It’s also great to see the spirit in our church where people giving freely & generously of their time, talents, & treasures in the work of God. This is the way to real joy in the service of our King!

Philippians 2:4 ..not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

1 John 3:17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?

Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.

Romans 12:13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

6. Care to be a witness.

Be a witness to the lost people in our nation.

Do you remember Andrew’s first action after meeting Jesus?

John 1:41-42 41The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).42And he brought him to Jesus.

Bringing another person to Jesus is the greatest work in the world. Jesus left heaven & came to earth to reconcile people to God. Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

Jesus instructs us to bring people to Him in the command we call the Great Commission. Matthew 28:19-20 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

So think of those you know who do not know Jesus as their Lord & Savior. Get into the business of seeking to bring others to Him. Of all the things that we have talked about or mentioned this morning, none is more important than that. Go and preach the gospel. If you cannot go send someone with support.

James 5:20 …remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

Conclusion: Do you care to be a blessing in this dark and hurting world? Let this be our prayer today, “Lord I care.” I will care to be a healer. I will care to be an encourager. I will care to be a listener. I will care to be a forgiver. I will care to be a helper. I will care to be a witness. Let’s Pray.