“Please, stop!” How often do you hear these words? I hear them most often when I’m doing what I call singing, and usually utter them when my boys are tearing the house apart.
It certainly has a negative connotation. Something is annoying us and we want it to cease and desist, immediately, so we share our opinion, often accompanied with yelling.
The please portion is not a requirement. In fact, it’s probably rarely used. It’s an additional word that prolongs the suffering, so we shorten it to just “STOP!” It may be impolite, but we get our point across in one simple word.
This curt phrase has positive applications as well. There’s tremendous suffering in our communities that we have within our power to quell. All it takes is for us to act.
Here’s a list of 7 kinds of suffering people you know are dealing with, along with an extra bonus of solutions to the problems.
1. Hunger - In your community, there are thousands of people without the basic needs of life. You can fill several empty stomachs with a small donation. Better yet, you can fill those same hearts with the food that will never leave them hungry. Share the Good News of Jesus with those with famished souls.
2. Loneliness – Be a friend to the friendless. We all know people who have no one to talk with. Take time and show them you care. While you’re at it, introduce them to a friend who will never leave their side, Jesus.
3. Homelessness – Homelessness is not just for the outcasts of society any more. People in your neighborhood and those you sit next to at work are facing foreclosure. Open you home to them, provide them with a place to stay while they get back on their feet. Bring them into your church family. Give them a refuge from the perils of life.
4. Fear - Uncertainty in life can be paralyzing. When we know there’s hope for the future we sleep better at night. Give someone promise for tomorrow. Share your blessings. Relieve their fear by sharing the joy that comes from knowing the Lord.
5. Depression - One of the the great pandemics of society today is depression. The stress of life becomes overwhelming and many see no hope for the future. Help people navigate this storm by giving them perspective. Although they may be in the midst of a downpour, help them see the silver lining in the clouds. Give them hope for tomorrow in the promise of a glorious eternity with Jesus Christ.
6. Strife – We all have the friend to whom bad things always happen. It seems if something can go wrong it always happens to them. Their life is filled with turmoil and trouble. Provide a place of stability for them. Be a rock they can lean on and help them to stand by providing a firm foundation of friendship. Show them the peace that comes from the hand of Almighty God.
7. Doubt – Like fear, doubt, leaves people dreading tomorrow. They begin to ponder the meaning of life and if they serve any purpose. Suicide may even creep into their thoughts as they see no reason in living another day. Show them their value in your life and the lives of those around them. Help them understand life is most gratifying when we are serving others. Teach them that God knows them personally and how in Him each day has new meaning.
Look at the suffering around you and shout, “Please, Stop!” It’s within your power to change lives and change the world.
What else can you do to stop the pain in peoples’ lives?