You Don't Have to Know
“Anyone can choose to humbly ask God for ways to serve when they see someone who may be struggling.
Encourage an open and healing connection with others so they may feel understood and supported.
Have you ever seen a situation in which you wanted to do something but were afraid you might say or do something wrong or unhelpful? I have.
Admittedly, there can be situations that may not be our business. If that is the case, realize it quickly and leave it alone, an issue for another time. But there may be times you encounter a situation where your heart is moved to help, but you are not sure how.
I had four brothers, one of whom was born with Down Syndrome and a number of even more challenging conditions. I was his legal guardian for the last 35 years of his life. It was difficult for my parents and later for me to deal with countless situations that involved difficult, binding decisions. When I see people in similar situations, I cannot turn away. I recall that Proverbs instructs: “Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die; save them as they stagger to their death. Don’t excuse yourself by saying, ‘Look, we didn’t know.’ For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve” (Proverbs 24:11-12, New Living Translation). This reminds us how important it is to be aware of serious situations of which we may be able to help, versus living in denial of the fact that I could do something to make the situation better.
I have been blessed to meet families in Church at Feast of Tabernacles sites etc., that, like me, faced similar challenging situations. Each time I was moved to action by considering the difficult times they faced as their lot in life. As I reached out to them, I experienced some feelings of nervousness but was able to overcome the apprehension by focusing on their needs and offering to serve.
It may seem easier to approach these situations with understanding and sensitivity when you’ve already had a similar experience. But, the fact is, anyone can choose to humbly ask God for ways to serve when they see someone who may be struggling.
I suggest your perspective should be: “I don't have to know or have the answers, just ask.” You could say something like, “How are you, really? But, if you’d rather not share, that’s fine.” Or you could say, “You appear to be distressed.” This may open a door and lead to meaningful conversation and additional ways to help and serve.
At the Feast of Tabernacles one year, I was saddened to hear one family tell me that they were rarely asked by brethren how they were getting along. It struck me how important it is to reach out and show true care and concern for others.
When faced with these circumstances, start by giving your ears and your heart, right then and there. Ask God to help you serve if you can (Proverbs 3:27-28). Don’t minimize or judge them, but encourage an open and healing connection so they may feel understood and supported (Proverbs 18:13). You can also make it a point not to ignore other family members who may feel neglected because of the necessary care and attention given to one family member. For me, reaching out resulted in that family feeling encouraged and comfortable enough to talk for a number of hours, sharing their situation.
People, in and out of Church struggle with many isolating and lonely battles. If you prove to someone that you are a “safe place” to trust and to share with, and you sense it is the appropriate time, you could use Fred Rogers’ simple but powerful question, “What’s the matter?” There may be potential here for fulfilling Galatians 6:2 to, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
A good way to learn how some of your brothers and sisters are working through serious difficulties is to visit the Breaking Free blog at ucg.org. They have much to share that may help in breaking the silence that typically surrounds issues of overcoming.
We await the return of Jesus Christ, the Mighty God and Counselor (Isaiah 9:6), who will begin to create a safe place when He returns to earth. As His helpers and “princes” (Isaiah 32:1), we will become hiding places and “shelters” (Isaiah 32:2), for those who live through the Great Tribulation. So, as we look forward to that time ahead, let’s be present for others today by choosing to “just ask.” From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/breaking-free/you-dont-have-to-know
(11) And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
“When it comes to the "most important" part of all in this Christmas observance—the Christmas shopping season—the buying and exchanging of gifts—many will exclaim triumphantly, "Well, at least the Bible tells us to do that! Didn't the wise men give gifts, when Christ was born?"
Again, we are due for some surprises, when we learn the plain truth. First, let us look at the historic origin of trading gifts back and forth, then see exactly what the Bible does say about it.
From the Bibliotheca Sacra, volume 12, pages 153-155, we quote, "The interchange of presents between friends is alike characteristic of Christmas and the Saturnalia, and must have been adopted by Christians from the Pagans, as the admonition of Tertullian plainly shows."
The fact is, this custom fastened upon people of exchanging gifts with friends and relatives at the Christmas season has not a single trace of Christianity about it, strange though that may seem! This does not celebrate Christ's birthday or honor it or Him! Suppose someone you love has a birthday. You want to honor that person on his or her birthday. Would you lavishly buy gifts for everyone else, trading gifts back and forth with all your other friends and loved ones, but ignore completely any gift for the one whose birthday you are honoring? Rather absurd, when viewed in that light, is it not?
Yet this is exactly what people the world over are doing! They honor a day that is not Christ's birthday by spending every dime they can scrape together—even spending what they cannot afford—in buying presents to trade back and forth among friends and relatives.
Now consider what the Bible says about giving gifts when Christ was born. It is in Matthew 2:1-11. "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews?' . . . And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto HIM gifts; gold and frankincense, and myrrh."
Notice, they inquired for the child Jesus, who was born King of the Jews! Now why did they present gifts to Him? Because it was His birthday? Not at all, because they came several days or weeks after the date of His birth! Was it to set an example for us, today, to trade gifts back and forth among ourselves? No, notice carefully! They did not exchange gifts among themselves, but "they presented unto Him gifts." They gave their gifts to Christ, not to their friends, relatives, or one another!
Why? Let me quote from the Adam Clarke Commentary, volume 5, page 46: "Verse 11. (They presented unto him gifts.) The people of the East never approach the presence of kings and great personages, without a present in their hands. The custom is often noticed in the Old Testament, and still prevails in the East, and in some of the newly discovered South Sea Islands."
There it is! They were not instituting a new Christian custom of exchanging gifts with friends to honor Christ's birthday. They were following an old and ancient eastern custom of presenting gifts to a king when they come into his presence. They were approaching Him, born King of the Jews, in person. Therefore custom required they present gifts—even as the Queen of Sheba brought gifts to Solomon—even as many people today take a gift along when they visit the White House for an appointment with the President.
No, the custom of trading gifts back and forth does not stem from this scriptural incident at all, but rather, as quoted from history above, it is the continuance of an ancient pagan custom.”
To learn more, see:
The Plain Truth About Christmas
Protein Intake and IGF-1 Production
Transcript of video at: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/protein-intake-and-igf-1-production/
“Animal protein consumption triggers the release of the cancer-promoting growth hormone IGF-1.
What is the mechanism by which our diet can affect our levels of this cancer-promoting growth hormone IGF-1? Imagine you’re a kid with some Tinkertoys. Then, Christmas comes early, and you get one of those huge sets dumped down in front of you. All excited with this new load of building raw materials, you may really start scaling up. And basically, it’s the same thing with your liver and Insulin-like Growth Factor 1.
When you dump a load of protein on your body, your liver’s like whoa, look at all this. What are we going to do with all? We can’t just waste it; we’ve got to do something with it. Let’s just start growing stuff; add a few new additions, maybe a new wing. So your liver decides to start pumping out IGF-1 to tell all the cells in the body, it’s growin’ time! Be fruitful and multiply. Spare no expense, go crazy—look how much excess protein we got to work with!
The problem, of course, is that some of the new additions may be tumors. When you’re a fully grown adult, cell growth is something we want to slow down—not accelerate. So one might imagine the goal would be to maintain adequate, but non-excessive, overall protein intake—but wait a second.
Studies have found no association between total protein intake and IGF-1 levels. Doesn’t that just go against everything I just said? Ah, but these studies didn’t take into account animal versus plant protein.
In this study of meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans, they found no significant difference in IGF levels between people eating lots of protein, compared to people eating less protein. But before ditching the theory that excessive protein intake boosts the levels of IGF-1, they decided to break it down into animal protein versus plant protein.
Higher IGF-1 levels were just associated with animal protein intake. In fact, the plant protein seemed to decrease IGF-1 levels. So, no wonder there was no net effect of total protein intake. Animal protein appears to send a much different signal to our livers than most plant proteins. So even those vegans eating the same amount of protein as meat-eaters still had lower levels of the cancer-promoting hormone, IGF-1.
So, it’s apparently not about excessive protein in general, but animal protein in particular.” From: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/protein-intake-and-igf-1-production/
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.