Philosophical and religious communities treat diseases differently. Some people call them illusions. Others are indifferent to them. Some attribute them to divine Providence. Still, others urge patients to be courageous and persevering in their trials.
But Christians have always treated the sick with compassion, mercy, and tenderness. Jesus himself set an example in this for us. Matthew 14: 14 says “ “and Jesus went out, and saw a great multitude, and had compassion on them, and healed their sick.”
Just as Jesus set an example in addressing the sick at his side, pastors and Ministers should set an example of compassion for their communities in such times. Because of the uniqueness of this pandemic, we can’t be constantly present near people who are fighting diseases, but there are still other opportunities to do so.
Helping the sick is not rocket science. Everyone can do the following six things by showing compassion for the sick in our communities.
People always get sick-whether it’s COVID-19 or some other disease. Before taking care of other people’s needs, you need to be aware of what they need. God gives us an example in this. Psalm 105: 44 says: “But He looked upon their affliction when he heard their cry.”Note that God sees and hears. When you are upset, God notices it.
Pastor, do you notice when other people in your life are in trouble? You and your community cannot serve the sick unless you open your eyes to the needs of others.
Visit the sick.
Most of us feel uncomfortable around sick people. In fact, we tend to shy away from communicating with them. But God did the opposite. The prophet Isaiah, in Chapter 63:9, says of God: “In all their affliction He did not forsake them, and the angel of His countenance delivered them. ”
While we tend to ignore the suffering, God in turn came to us when we were sick with sin. God did not send an angel. He didn’t send the email. He sent Himself! This is exactly what God asks us to do for others when they are sick: visit them.
Of course, it is difficult not to be physically present with sick people. However, let’s use modern communication technologies to visit the suffering and spend as much time with them as possible.
Accept people without prejudice.
We tend to be ashamed of our own and other people’s illnesses. Regardless of the reason why someone is ill, we must accept their condition. Just because someone got sick as a result of a wrong decision doesn’t mean we should leave them.
God did exactly that for us! Jesus accepted us for who we are, without accepting our sinful nature and all that we have done. Paul writes in Galatians 4: 13-14 “” you know that although in the weakness of the flesh I preached the good news to you the first time, yet you did not despise my temptation in my flesh and did not abhor it, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus.” Helping patients means getting rid of the embarrassment and prejudice associated with these diseases.
It is not enough just to be ready to receive sick people. We must also encourage them. Strengthening gives hope. Giving sick hope is the greatest thing you can do for them. People can handle almost anything in life if they have hope.
In Proverbs 18:14 says: “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity, but a wounded spirit who can bear it?” It is necessary to instill hope in the person and let him understand that he can overcome the current situation.
Help prevent the spread of the disease.
I hope we’re doing this right now. One of the most important ways to take care of a patient is to prevent other people from getting sick. You may have heard the phrase ” flatten the incidence curve». When we help slow down COVID-19 transmission and try to prevent others from becoming infected, we make sure that people who need help get it.
Pastor, we should be a model of this behavior for our congregation. We can’t take care of sick people if we’re not interested in keeping people from getting sick.
Ask God to heal the people you serve. Healing can only be given by God, no matter who he uses for it. He uses doctors and medicines, sometimes he even uses miracles.
James 5: 16 is translated into modern language as follows: “Make it your regular practice: confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together unharmed and healed. The prayer of a person who lives with God is a powerful thing to be reckoned with. ”
Our prayer has value. It plays a major role in the process of recovery, forcing you to consider yourself and being the most important component of overcoming the disease.
Our churches now have an unprecedented opportunity to love and care for sick people. Let us do everything in our power to make our treatment of the sick and suffering resemble that of Jesus Christ