The Call to Care

Michael Beck

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The Creator is not detached and oblivious to His creation. He has a keen interest in all that is going on.

Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,
Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! (Psalm 113:5,6)

Need does not turn God away. He turns to and considers the poor and the needy.

But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God. (Psalm 40:17)

David was astounded and blessed by the extent of God’s intimate knowledge of him.

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand… (Psalm 139:17,18)

Jesus equated God’s intimate knowledge of us to how much He values us.

Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6,7)

No one wants to be invisible. No one wants to be ignored, unthought of, uncared for.

I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me. I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel. (Psalm 31:11,12)

We demonstrate how much we value another by how deeply we are willing to know them.

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)

Knowing others requires a diligent interest in them.

Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. (Proverbs 27:23)

To be interested in someone or something is to have a desire to know. To be uninterested is to have no desire to know.

Disinterest, or the lack of desire to know, is particularly painful because of the rejection one feels. The disinterested person communicates a lack of caring about the subject. It is one thing to be disinterested in politics, sports, muscle cars, or French cuisine; it is another thing to have little or no desire to know your spouse, your children, your parents, etc.

I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. (Ps. 142:4)

Absalom’s hatred for his father stemmed from the lack of care he felt.
He believed he could be a better king, who was more interested in his subjects concerns.

Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice! And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him. And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. (2 Samuel 15:4-6)

There is real, indignant anger that can arise in our hearts towards those we perceive have little or no regard for us. Neglect is one of the deepest causes of bitterness, anger, and hatred.

Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. (Colossians 3:21)

We may be uninterested in reading a book, seeing a movie, listening to a song. The book, the movie, the song is not going to be hurt by our disinterest. But the person “behind” the book, the movie, the song, may well be hurt. Nebuchadnezzar’s statue didn’t feel any pain when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would not bow to it. But it was the king’s “pride and joy.” It was his creation. Their refusal to see its worth was a refusal to recognize his worth, and provoked him to wrath.

There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. (Daniel 3:12)

God knows the pain of despising and rejection. He would be seen, known, and admired, but finds disregard and disinterest.

… I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts (Isaiah 65:1,2)

Job describes the wicked as those who can live long lives absorbed in many things, except God. They have no interest in Him because He holds no value to them.

They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance.
They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ.
They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave.
Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.
What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him? (Job 21:11-15)

How can we be people who care about others?

1. Put on the mind of Christ. Be “other-centered.”

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:3-5)

2. Develop a greater interest in the “things” of Christ than your own things. Know what Spirit you are of and flow in Him. The Spirit of Christ will alert you to the things you should “mind.” Take the time and effort to know the state of another.

But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.
For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s. (Philippians 2:19-21)

3. Learn and practice what God views as real devotion to Him.

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)

visit > Greek verb > episkeptomai – KJV – visit 10, look out 1

– to look upon or after, to inspect, examine with the eyes; in order to see how he is, i.e. to visit, go to see one – to look upon in order to help or to benefit; to look after, have care for, provide for

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? (Isaiah 58:6,7)

4. Be sensitive. Don’t be willfully oblivious to the condition of those around you. Pick up on cues that another could use your help. Pray! Ask God how you can be His hands and feet.

If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain;
If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works? (Proverbs 24:11,12)

5. Want to know about others and their concerns, not as a “busybody,” but as a potential helper. Be on the “lookout” for how you can be of assistance. Don’t be afraid how helping them might inconvenience or cost you.

And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. (Luke 10:30-34)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.