The High Cost of Helping Others

Dr. Ray Pritchard
Dr. Ray Pritchard

"Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me" (Luke 8:46).

What does this mean?

Jesus knew God’s power was flowing out from him into the body of the woman who touched his gar­ment. Power that had been his passed from him to her. It resulted in her healing, but the power had to go out from him first.

There is a universal truth here.

If you follow Jesus and get involved with the needy people of this world, you will be conscious of power flowing out from your life as well. By defi­nition those in need lack the strength necessary to face the challenges of life. The only way they can get strength is from those who have more than they do. Ministering to such people means that power will flow out from your life to theirs. It will cost you something that you will not easily replace—the very strength of your own life.

This truth explains something that many people have puzzled over. When Jesus was finally crucified, why did he die so quickly? The Romans assumed that when they cruci­fied someone it would take twenty-four to forty-eight hours for that person to die. But Jesus died after only six hours on the cross. Why? Was it not because he had spent his life giv­ing himself for others, and when he finally came to the end, he had given and given and given, and from a human point of view, he had given all that he had? Sometimes we say (in a senti­mental way), "He died of a broken heart." There is at least this much truth in that statement: When he died, he was exhausted from giving himself for others.

If you follow Jesus, the same thing will happen to you. You will give and give and give, and the power will go out from you. You can help people, but it will cost you something.

Not just time, not just energy, not just money, but your very life. Strength will go out from you into the lives of the people you help.

They will grow stronger.
You will grow weaker.

In the end, like Jesus, you too will be exhausted. You may not live as long as you would like. But you will die satisfied because you lived your life for others.

Don’t waste your one and only life.
Use it to help others in Jesus’ name.

My Lord, deliver me from a complaining spirit when I feel overwhelmed by the demands of others. Amen.

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Originally published March 06, 2018.

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