“Have you ever noticed,” I asked Stan one morning, “how most people just say, ‘fine’ when you ask them how they’re doing?”
“I certainly have,” Stan replied. “And the other night our fellowship group was talking about the same thing.”
“Come to any conclusions about that?” I asked.
“No conclusions as to why people respond that way,” Stan said. “Probably lots of reasons for that, but we did have a good discussion about the importance of asking the question, especially from a spiritual standpoint.”
“You mean ask someone how they are doing in their faith walk?” I responded. “Isn’t that kind of personal?”
“Yeah,” Stan said, “it’s kind of personal, but it seems to me that the whole point of fellowship is to find out how other people are dong, not only in their general lives, but especially how they are doing in their relationship with God.”
“You mean so you can encourage them if they need encouragement?”
“Exactly,” Stan replied. “That’s what the apostle Paul did on several occasions in the letters he wrote to the various churches.”
“Paul was constantly concerned how the people were doing in their faith walk, and when he couldn’t go and find out first-hand, he would send someone to find out how they were doing. And I think one of my roles with my fellow believers is to ask.”
“And what do you do when you find out?” I asked.
“Depends on what I find out,” Stan replied. “If they are doing great, I ask if they can share to help me and others. If they’re not doing so great, I find out how they can be helped.”
“And then go on to help them?”
“Doesn’t that seem like a reasonable thing to do?” Stan replied with his own question. “Why else would I ask them how they’re doing?”
Bible verses to consider:
For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear the the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor should be in vain. 1 Thessalonians 3:5.
But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. Philippians 2:19.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for sending Jesus to provide the way to you because you knew I was not doing very well apart from you. Thank you, too, for giving me the Holy Spirit to help me draw ever closer to you so I am doing as well with you as you intend. I confess that too often I do not ask others, “How are you doing?” with a sincere desire to know so I may, through you, help them as you intend. Please help me in following every step of your lead so I truly care about how others are doing, and that I put feet to that caring so I do what you have for me to do in helping them. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: No one who is living apart from God is doing very well. That’s why God sent Jesus into the world. Do you agree with that? Why or why not? How are you doing in regard to knowing you will spend eternity in God’s presence when it’s time? If you have that assurance, how are you doing in drawing ever closer to God on this side of eternity? How about with other people—are you sincere when you ask them, “How you doing?” If you sense some changes may be needed, how are those changes going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?
S. Tory Teller’s book, Waiting for the Train: Biblical Food for Growing Before Going, with a Foreword by Josh McDowell, is available from amazon.com and directly from the publisher at http://www.s-toryteller.com