Love, Even If.

These are my notes from B1GFridays: When Life seems Helpless… Love, Even If

How are you (really)? It has been said that the biggest lie that we normally answer when asked is, “I’m okay.”

Actually, here in the Philippines, one of the focal issues we currently face is Mental Health. Mental Health is a serious topic and it boils down to Depression that could lead to Suicide if not attended to. A depressed person feels “being pressed down” and the opposite of it is “expression”.

As an HR Practitioner, I am aware of the mandates by the Department of Labor and Employment to prioritize the Mental Health of the employees that is why there are several seminars are offered by different training institutions to ensure the private sectors know how to create and implement programs to comply with the law while really taking care of their respective employees.

We are actually called to love each other especially those who are not okay. In Job 2:11-13, when Job started to lose everything he owns and treasures, his friends started offering sympathy with him wherein they raised their voices and wept for and with him. However, starting from Job chapter 3 until almost the majority of its book, his so-called-friends bombarded him with the “whys?” Why would God punish you like that? What have you possibly done to deserve all of these? They gave him tireless discouragements and made him a laughing stock. Job came to the point wherein he called them ‘miserable comforters‘.

Knowing all of these, may we not become like those ‘miserable comforters‘. We have to understand that those who are suffering are not problems to solve, but people to love. This struck me the most. It is true that sometimes, people just want to share their problems because they just needed someone to hear them out, to understand them, and do not offer solutions. Even Jesus showed compassion and that’s what we need to do.

Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.

Matthew 9:35-36 NASB

Bro. Mike Yap shared that we can identify if a friend is going through difficult times and how can we love them as they needed it.

Isolation. It is the feeling of being alone and lonely and they tend to isolate themselves when they feel depressed. Their souls get shattered into a thousand pieces whenever they resort to this behavior. As a friend, we need to pursue and be present for them; Not to fix them, but to spend time with them.

When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through my groaning all day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.

Psalm 32:3-4 NASB

Insulation. It is leaving their feelings unprocessed. It is like bottling up all the emotions inside until it explodes. As a friend, this calls for our intentionality. We can probe and process – wherein we can ask simple questions and help them process what they are actually feeling.

Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:1-2 NASB

Moreover, we have been reminded of CCF Men’s Ministry: Movement’s practice in talking to a friend in need. It is inside the acronym S.A.F.E. We first must ensure a Safe place to share and actually listen to him/her. Show Authenticity wherein we must be transparent as well. We also have to remember to Fix Not. It is not our job to fix them, we are to point them to the One who can ONLY fix them – God. Lastly, Encourage. Encouragement needs not to be limited to bible verses. These can be personal testimonies of God’s amazing power over your life or others.

A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 17:17 NASB

I was reminded that Jesus pursues us relentlessly, even if. Even if we stumble, even if we disappoint, even if we keep on sinning, and even if we drown ourselves into darkness.

May we continue to pursue and become intentional to our disciples, fellow brothers, and sisters in Christ, family members, and friends. Give that kind of LOVE that Jesus gave and made you feel.

Jesus demonstrated His love for us, EVEN IF. (Romans 5:8)

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