Four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above [Jesus’] head. – Mark 2:3-4

tylb-they-did-what-their-friend-couldnt-doImagine the scene: Jesus is teaching in a home, and people are so eager to hear him that they pack tightly into the house and outside as well. Four men have agreed to bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus, but they realize there is no way they can get their friend in front of the Master. Then one of the men suggests they climb to the roof and cut a hole through it so they can lower the man’s pallet down in front of Jesus. When they accomplish this task, Jesus is so moved by their faith that he heals the paralyzed man.

How are the actions of these four men different from ours when we are overly involved in others’ lives and need to take our own lives back? Quite simply, they did for the paralyzed man what he couldn’t do for himself. If they had carried a friend to Jesus who was perfectly capable of walking there on his own, they would have been caring for him inappropriately—and not really helping him or themselves.

Ask Yourself
Make a list of things you tend to do for others that they can—and should—do for themselves. Why do you think you do these things?

By contrast, what are some things you do—or could do—for others that they cannot do for themselves?

Ask God
Father, help me to examine my motives as I seek to care for others. Help me to still be caring, but give me the wisdom to know when I’m helping inappropriately.

Taken from Take Your Life Back Day by Day copyright © 2016 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.