There are three types of people that cannot be helped. The first are those who will not acknowledge they have a problem or realize their need for God. The second are those who know they are in trouble, but their pride won’t let them ask for the help they need. Their self-sufficiency is keeping them from finding their sufficiency in Christ. Life has a way of bringing these two types of people to the end of their resources. The confident Paul had to be struck down before He would turn to Christ for his confidence (2 Corinthians 2:4-5).
The third type of people we can’t help are those who really don’t want to get well. Such was the case of the man who was an invalid for thirty-eight years. He would lie by the pool of Bethesda where the blind, the lame and the paralyzed came to be healed. Supposedly an angel would come and stir the waters and whoever was in it at the time was healed. The Lord asked him, “Do you want to get well” (John 5:6)? That was a very profound question, not a cruel one. The invalid answered with an excuse. There was no one to put him in the water and someone always got in ahead of him! This man showed no faith in God, but the Lord in His sovereignty chose to heal him anyway. Jesus warned him to stop sinning for the eternal consequences of sin are far worse than his physical ailment. To show his gratitude, the man turned Him in for healing him on the Sabbath!
Jesus took away his excuse and probably his source of income through begging. There are some people who really don’t want to get well. They have a built in excuse for not rising above the circumstances. Because of their illness, they get attention and pity from others. Many try to have their basic needs met through begging, welfare and charity. If the invalid really wanted to get well, he would have found a way to get in that pool. If we really want to get well, we would make whatever commitment it takes to overcome our infirmities. We wouldn’t get mad at God or blame anybody else. We would choose to believe that we can overcome our deficiencies in Christ and that we can do all things through Him who gives us strength. If we have to swallow our pride and humble ourselves, we do it. If we have to submit to a process that trusted people advise us to take, we do it. If we have to give up an unrighteous lifestyle, we do it. If we have to ask others to forgive us, we do it. If we need to forgive others, we do it. If we need to persevere under pressure, we do it. We do whatever it takes to become the person God created us to be, because Jesus did what it took for us to be alive and free in Him. The test of a person’s character is determined by what it takes to stop them from pursuing their convictions. “As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered” (James 5:11).
Dr. Neil www.disciplesshipcounsel.com For Spanish see www.ficmm.org/blog