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How To Be No Earthly Good

Updated: Jan 31, 2020

You may have heard the phrase, "They're so heavenly minded, they're no earthly good." I never agreed with that statement in the past but I do now. There is some serious truth in that sentence. How? Well, believe it or not, it's quite easy to have our head up in the spiritual clouds so much that we completely forget about our feet down on planet earth.

Anyone who has gone through a tough situation can relate to the frustration felt when you, needy and broken, are given spiritual sounding words but no practical tools to accompany it. There are common Christian phrases one hears when they are in a trial. If it's a death, you may hear, "They're in a better place." If it's the devastation of a relationship, you may hear, "Just quote this Scripture reference and remember God is enough." If it's a struggle with sin, you may hear, "Resist the devil, die to self, taste and see that the Lord is good."

While all are true and all are needed, a lot of shame and frustration accompanies the spiritual when it doesn't go hand-in-hand with the practical. We forget that while Jesus was 100% God, He was also 100% man and you can't have the Savior without accepting both as truth. Never in Scripture do we find Jesus throwing a blanket "Be healed!" to people. Nearly every time, He looked them in the eye, He touched them with His hands and He spoke to them personally. Why? Because we are 100% human and we needed a 100% human God.

I've been in the crowd of the frustrated, too exhausted to quote a reference when my eyes are swollen from crying, too brain dead to remember the truth when temptation rears its ugly head, and too grieved when I'm looking into a casket to care about my loved one being in a better place when I can't be there too. In those moments, I don't need another thing to add to my To-Do list, I need a sister or a brother to come around me, to speak words of truth and life to me as they walk through the darkness alongside of me.

God could have spoken one word and changed the course of history by making atonement possible without the shedding of perfect blood. But instead He became man and poured out His life for mankind - as God, oh yes, but also as man. There is something powerful to be learned here.

If we want to imitate Christ, we must be like the good Samaritan who stooped down to help the bleeding and hurting man left for dead, not like the priest and the Levite who did spiritual things all day long without physically caring for their fellow neighbor. When you hear,

I lost my child... My husband left...

The doctor gave me two months to live...

The bank foreclosed... I'm hurting and I'm depressed...

I'm so very lonely... I keep falling into sin...

It isn't enough to say "God be with you" and walk away when God Himself commissioned you to be His hands and feet to the world. It isn't enough to say the spiritual words if we aren't going to do the spiritual things. Empathize with your brothers and sisters. Walk with the hurting, grieve with the bereaved, counsel the depressed, pull up the falling, encourage the weak, gently handle the broken, give to the needy and weep with those crying. Put feet to your faith and hands to your holiness. Keep one eye fixed on the clouds but use the other to scan for someone to love, to touch and to bless. Jesus did not have to physically handle people, but He did because He loved them and we, His people, will be known not only for our well-spoken truth but also by our real life, practical, fervent love.


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