Words of Worth

If you ever need nothing…

July 30, 2016

It is quite the challenge to give credit to the quote, “When it comes to giving, some people stop at nothing.” In most anthologies or collections of quotations, the author of this one is the illustrious “anonymous”.

However, a unique twist to this saying is, “When it comes to helping you, some people stop at nothing.” Supposedly, Helen Bottel (1914-1999), author of Helen Help Us, a syndicated advice column third in popularity to Ann Landers and Dear Abby, gets credit for this quote in April of 1959. Curious as to what Helen’s take on this topic was, I gave it the good ole college try to find the article, but with no success. However, I know what motivated me to think about it. It was one-part tee-shirt amusement, and one-part bible study conviction.

My friend* while shopping with another friend recently, took this picture and admittedly on first blush it made me chuckle:

If you ever need nothing

*Photo credit: Joy Kerr

However, during a melancholy musing of the tee-shirt (one-part amusement) and one evening in Bible study this summer (one-part conviction), my chuckling cooled considerably. Right now my family, due to my father’s recent hip fracture, is in a season where help is needed on many fronts. You know what this is like because you have had these seasons also. It has been overwhelming as to what so many have offered to do and have done for us that I cannot imagine where we would be if others stopped at nothing when it came to helping! Then verses like Galatians 6:2 – “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” came to mind and filled my heart with gratitude for burden bearing friends who called, visited, sent cards, did acts of service, or stole me away for a meatball sandwich!

And then, true to God’s character, He impressed upon my heart what stopping at nothing looks like with our words. So, I’m sitting in Bible study minding my own business when I get a little tap on my heart while reading of all verses, Job 4: 3-4

3 Behold, you have instructed many,
and you have strengthened the weak hands.
4 Your words have upheld him who was stumbling,
and you have made firm the feeble knees.

Job’s friend, Eliphaz reminds Job of how comforting and encouraging Job’s words have been to others. However, if we know the rest of the story, not everything Job’s friends had to say was this positive and so by the time we get to chapter 16, Job has something to say now that he understands suffering and the comforting that is needed and is not being received from his friends. If the shoe were on the other foot Job said:

I could strengthen you with my mouth,
and the solace of my lips would assuage your pain.
Job 16:5

So one-part tee-shirt amusement and one-part bible study conviction caused me to realize not only the gratitude I have for the good friends in my life, but also the responsibility I have to my friends. The power of life and death is in the tongue and so many times we can “assuage (others’) pain” by a loving word that costs nothing. If so, then why stop at nothing when it comes to helping others?

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”
Proverbs 3:27

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