“How do people get well?”
This question was posed to me by a fellow pastor. The context of the question: How I have observed people moving from disability to spiritual health/wholeness.
My first thought was Jesus questioning the man at the pool of Bethesda. He asked, “Do you want to get well?” A great question. My hunch is that Jesus knew the man was finding his identity in his illness. He had secured a reserved box seat at the pool for thirty-eight years. I trust you know the story and the outcome (see John 5).
My fellow pastor, Jim Donaldson, and I have talked about this extensively over the last 14+ years of ministry together. While the answer to come is no “silver bullet,” I believe it has some merit and would encourage you to consider my thoughts.
Let me shift gears. When a person is eye level to the curb or as low as the under belly of a snake, he/she may be tempted to isolate or alienate. This is the precise plan of the enemy. We constantly teach our people, “When in need of help/support/care/comfort, do not play into the enemy’s plan of isolation or alienation.” Walking down the path of isolation and alienation is devastating. It does not birth health.
With that said, let me answer the question: “How do people get well?”
First, they stay committed to their set of relationships– their cell. They show up for the cell gathering and the fellow cell members stay engaged with them outside of the cell gathering. Next, they participate in corporate worship– celebration. There is something dynamic and spiritual that happens when one joins with his fellow church members to celebrate the goodness of God. Finally, they afford themselves the opportunity to meet one on one with a fellow cell member for discipleship and accountability.
You might ask, “What about this hurting individual making the commitment to meet with God each day?” This would be great! Yet, it rarely happens. This ailing person finds it difficult to get out of bed and engage life at any level. He/she is whipped, beat up and desperate. While I might long for him/her to engage God on a personal level… again…. it rarely happens. They need the body to help them along for a season.
Back to the pool of Bethesda (John 5). Jesus says to the man: “Stand up [this command is rooted in the power of God], take up your mat [you have no use of this box seat from here forward], and walk [he did!].” May we collectively and corporately pursue “being well.” No one this side of heaven will ever attain complete wholeness. Yet, by the grace of God, may we move from one level of wholeness to the next. Without a doubt, we need God and each other.
So, my friends– “How do people get well?” Comments?