This is especially true if our friends have a very specific need and have not successfully found a solution. If you have a friend who has a skin condition and you hear about or find a product that has the desired effect, you really try to get it to your friend, or your friend to it. We like it when we are able to help our friends find solutions for their issues. Some of that may be a prideful pursuit, but I think mostly we just feel more significant in a good way because we helped our friend.
We need to be the same way with getting our friends to Jesus Christ. One story in Scripture illustrates this perfectly. Jesus was traveling around teaching and performing miracles, then this happened,
When He entered Capernaum again after some days, it was reported that He was at home. So many people gathered together that there was no more room, not even in the doorway, and He was speaking the message to them. Then they came to Him bringing a paralytic, carried by four men. Since they were not able to bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above where He was. And when they had broken through, they lowered the mat on which the paralytic was lying. Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” But some of the scribes were sitting there, thinking to themselves: “Why does He speak like this? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Right away Jesus understood in His spirit that they were thinking like this within themselves and said to them, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, pick up your mat, and walk’? But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” He told the paralytic, “I tell you: get up, pick up your mat, and go home.” Immediately he got up, picked up the mat, and went out in front of everyone. As a result, they were all astounded and gave glory to God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” (Mark 2:1-12)
As Christians we like to raise the roof with anointed worship. We enjoy those services where we experience God in a special way because our praise is ascending uninhibited to the throne of God. But we should understand that most of the world will not experience that because they are not in the presence of Christ. We must do everything within our power to get people to Jesus, the One who can cure them of their problems, both body and soul. What if we were as excited about razing the roof to get needy people to Jesus as we are raising the roof to get ourselves to God?
The men in the story were willing to carry their friend to the top of a house, tear off a section of the roof, and lower him down into the room where Jesus was teaching. This effort put the man in a place where his life could be changed forever. Do we have the same determination to get our friends to Jesus? Are we more excited about sharing our favorite vacation spot, car, or coffee shop with those around us? Are we as eager to remove the obstacles keeping people from Jesus as we are to show them an opportunity that could change their financial future.
Today you will spend some time and energy being a good friend. Be the best friend and help your friend in need get to the source of their healing. And if you have to rip off a few shingles in the process, that’s okay. It will make for a great story.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.