Are you ever faced with making a decision and you aren’t sure how to proceed? I think we have all been there. Most assuredly, the number one place to find answers on how to proceed is in the Bible. I’m not talking about shutting your eyes and opening the book and pointing to a spot on the page for an answer either. Sometimes it seems the Bible is used as a Magic Eight Ball, when what we should be doing is delving into it and discovering the course of our life by following those who went before us. I’d like to share just one example of how God gives us answers in the stories of His word.
I just started reading Nehemiah this morning. It is a remarkable story about God using an ordinary, God-fearing man to carry out the task of building a wall. That doesn’t sound that impressive until you hear why Nehemiah took on the task.
Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the king when he heard that his hometown (about 800 miles away) was in “great trouble and shame.” The walls of the city had been destroyed and the people were suffering horribly. Nehemiah was distraught upon hearing this and called out to God for direction.
This is where it gets interesting to me. At this point, God shows us what biblical compassion looks like. There are two responses that I have witnessed first hand:
1. Talk, discussion or actually I would like to call it platitudes. Wikipedia
describes it well;
A platitude is a trite, meaningless, or prosaic statement, generally directed at quelling social, emotional, or cognitive unease.
2. Action. We know what that is but here is the definition anyway…
Action is the fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim.
In the very near future, it is safe to say that each of us will be faced with some type of human suffering. As Christ-followers, I implore you to be a person of action. For too many years now, Christianity has been Americanized, homogenized and reduced to a bunch of flowery statements when faced with the reality of true suffering.
Take some time and read Nehemiah. This man stepped outside his comfortable surroundings and devoted himself to pleasing God and caring for his brothers and sisters.
The book of Nehemiah is a great example of how we should respond with compassion. But don’t stop there. The Bible is full of stories that give a beautiful guideline for the countless life situations that we will stumble across. Next time you are faced with a difficult decision start reading the Word. Our Father gave us a timeless answer to every problem that we face.