There Is No Love Which Does Not Become Help

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There is a beautiful quote from theologian, Paul Tillich, about the relationship between love and help. He writes this:

“There is no love which does not become help.”

I find this immensely helpful. Because, in my world (and probably yours too), the situations around me are complex. Sometimes I see the struggles in the lives around me, both locally and globally, and I can feel stuck. I mean, I want to help that neighbour who is struggling; I want to help that co-worker with a broken relationship; I want to change some of the global realities around me. The problem is, I just don’t know how.

Have you ever been there before?

Sadly, since we don’t know what to do, we just don’t act. We end up having loving intentions that don’t lead to helping actions. And, if the love isn’t there and you just focus on the helping part, it will often come off in the wrong way.

This is why I love Paul Tillich’s quote. Because he gets the focus right.

If you want to help someone, the focus should be on loving that person. And, if that focus is there, as Tillich says, it will turn out to be helping. When you focus on loving someone first, it always turns into helping them in the best way possible.

Love turns into love-filled actions, which turns out to be help. Because, help without love isn’t charity; rather, it’s empty actions.

So, I write all this to say something simple: If you see someone and you want to help, but don’t know how, start by loving them, and the rest will come.

“There is no love which does not become help.”

 

What’s Killing the Church

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Today, I want to talk about what’s killing the church and its witness. And no, it’s not what you’d expect – it’s not sin. It’s not a lack of discipline. It’s not weak or lukewarm Christians, or whatever else is lamented in today’s world.

I think what’s killing the church is busyness.

And, I say this as an incredibly busy person. This is snapshot of what a recent day looked like for me…

  • Meeting starting at 6 AM.
  • Back to the house to get kids and drop them off to school.
  • Meetings and sermon writing throughout the day.
  • Volunteering in Asher’s school.
  • Hockey in the evening for the boys.
  • Followed by school (I had an exam).
  • Followed by prepping for a large NGO Board that I sit on.
  • Followed by cleaning the house and talking with Krista.

And, I say this not to be like, “Look at how busy I am! I must be awesome!” I say this because I think the drive to get more stuff done each and every day is what is killing the church. Where do you and my neighbours show up? Where is whitespace for God opportunities and interruptions?

Where am I even giving God space to move in my day?

I bring this all up because I bet your life isn’t all that different. Sure, the pieces might be different. Sure, some of what you do might be different. But, I bet the first thing you’d say when I ask how your week is, “Busy.”

And, that’s what needs to change.

Because, busyness doesn’t expand God’s kingdom.

And, I’m not talking about being lazy, rather I’m talking about being available. Available to God. Available to interruptions and those around you. Available to meet and connect with others.

Doug Fields writes, “Busy is the enemy of neighbourly.”

That is so simple, and true.

As Christians, we are called to be neighbourly because we are called to change neighbourhoods.

I write this as a challenge today. Cut some things out of your schedule to make space for God’s schedule. Busy is the enemy of neighbourly, and busy is the enemy of a whole life. So, make some changes.

That’s what I am going to do today.