DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: We feel sorry for a family that has just moved near us, because one of their children has lots of health problems and they don’t seem to know anyone here. I’m sure it must be very hard on them. We don’t want to intrude, but should we offer to help? — A.M.
DEAR A.M.: Let me ask you a question: If you were in their shoes, would you be grateful if someone befriended you and tried to take some of the load off your shoulders? Yes, of course you would. Jesus said, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).
Begin by asking God to give you a deep compassion for this family, a compassion that reflects his deep love for them. Then ask him to help you find ways to get acquainted with the family and build a friendship with them.
Be sensitive to their feelings and concerns, of course. You don’t want them to think you’re invading their privacy or trying to run their lives. Do let them know that you care and that you want to help and encourage them. The Bible tells us to “encourage the disheartened, help the weak” (1 Thessalonians 5:14).
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Then think of practical ways you might help them. All too often, I’m afraid, we say to someone, “Just let me know if I can help,” but then we never follow through or do anything practical. Taking them dinner, offering to babysit or take them to the doctor, introducing them to others — you could be of practical help in many ways.
Most of all, pray for them, and ask God to make you a channel of Christ’s love to them. The greatest gift we can ever give someone is the free gift of the Gospel.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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