Read Proverbs 24
Featured Verse: Proverbs 24:11-12, MSG
“Rescue the perishing; don’t hesitate to step in and help. If you say, ‘Hey, that’s none of my business,’ will that get you off the hook? Someone is watching you closely, you know—Someone not impressed with weak excuses.”
In the very first interpersonal conflict recorded in the Bible, God asked Cain of the whereabouts of Abel, his brother. (Genesis 4:1-16) Cain’s famous reply, as you will recall, was “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Or as the Message renders it: “How should I know? Am I his babysitter?” Even though God doesn’t respond directly to Cain’s lame misdirection, the answer is rather obvious: “Yes Cain, you are your brother’s keeper!”
The point is, we are responsible for one another. Obviously, Proverbs has a lot to say about sticking our nose inappropriately into other people’s business without an invitation, of trying to help those who persist in pursuing evil and folly, and of engaging in the lives of others with impure and selfish motives. In those cases, we ought to be wise enough and godly enough to heed the age-old advice of minding our own business.
However, when we can help another person who is hurting, floundering, or just simply needing a jump-start to get life going in the right direction, God does expect us to be our brother’s keeper. God does expect us to offer a helping hand to the hurting when it is within our power to make a difference. God does expect us to make it our business to bless a brother or a sister with a boost when there is opportunity to get them on the road to blessing. We are not responsible to help everybody who has a need in this world, but this and other proverbs suggest that when we see a person who needs help, and we have the ability to help at that moment, we then become responsible before God to act on his behalf in that particular moment. Yes, in those cases, we are our brother’s keeper, so welcome to the “Baby-sitter’s Club”!
Now keep in mind that this is not just about the heavy lifting of being responsible for our fellow man. This is about the built-in blessing of being God’s hand extended to those in need. As another proverb says, “He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11:25) When you adopted a lifestyle of helpful involvement, the blessings you gain in return always and by far outweigh any expenditure of time, effort and resources. Getting involved in the right way and at the right time is wonderful self-therapy. Someone once asked the famous psychiatrist Karl Menninger, “What would you advise a person to do if he’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown?” Everyone expected Dr. Menninger to respond with some profound psychological insight, but he just simply said: “Lock up your house, go across the railroad tracks, find someone in need and do something to help that person.”
That is exactly God’s treatment of choice for much of what ails the human race: Find someone worse off than you and help him!
“Love cures people—both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.” ~Karl Menninger
Winning At Life:
Who can you help today? Help them—and watch what happens. From a pure heart, shower unconditional love and grace upon them and two things will occur: They will begin to blossom and your own soul will be ennobled.