Behind every cause is a person.
You don’t have to browse Facebook or other social media long to discover the latest cause. From the pious to the political, causes draw us into something bigger than ourselves.
Whether it’s building a well in Africa, rescuing a girl caught up in human trafficking, or raising money to meet the financial needs of a cancer patient, causes create buzz.
But they also spawn criticism.
I’ve heard skeptical Christians decry the contemporary obsession with causes. Their main fear, it seems, is that the emphasis on supporting a cause will detract from an emphasis on sharing Christ.
A legitimate fear.
Human nature being what it is, it’s easy to swing one way or the other: Spend time promoting a good cause (a social gospel) at the expense of verbally sharing the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, or spend time sharing Jesus at the expense of addressing physical needs.
I contend that Jesus did both.
He turned water into wine at a wedding.
He taught the multitude, then fed them on a hillside.
He healed the blind, the sick, the lame.
He did so at the Father’s direction to show people He was the Son of God, with the authority and power, not only to meet physical needs, but to forgive sin and provide eternal life.
His children, those who look to Him for salvation, long to follow in His footsteps. Like Jesus, their cause is people.
They tell others about Him; they meet physical, emotional, financial, social, marital needs.
Why? Because when they meet a need, they touch a person.
Meeting a felt need can soften the heart, preparing the way for the gospel message of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Yet, let those who bear the name of Christ, take care. We must not get so wrapped up in the latest cause that we forget to share Christ’s redeeming love and grace with the person behind the cause.
Give a cup of water in Jesus’s name and quench an immediate physical thirst. Present the Living Water to the same person and quench an eternal spiritual thirst.