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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Zwanziger

Friendships Part 4: Help Your Friends Walk Again

Updated: Dec 26, 2019

The role we are called to play to help our friends that are paralyzed in their lives

In this friendship series we’ve been discussing our friends with egg on their faces. In Part 3 we shared the most critical steps to starting the conversation about big issues in their lives. First, we need to pray for the fruit of the spirit to be present in the conversation, then we need to discover the truth of the issue in the Word of God and lastly we need to trust God and His complete control of the conversation. In Part 4 we are addressing two lies that are ultimately connected, and two of Satan’s most powerful when it comes to us helping our friends.

Lie #3 - She clearly must already know she has this problem and is just not doing anything about it.

Lie #4 - It’s not my problem and she will figure it out eventually

We all have that friend, or likely, more than one. That friend that we think is a lost cause. That friend that we think has no chance to overcome. That friend that we’ve come to accept, its just they way they are, and they are never going to change. These friends typically fall into two categories:

  • The friend that we think must know that they have an issue, but we’ve never seen them do anything about it.

  • The friend that has tried over and over to overcome their problem and continues to fail.

In both situations, we as friends typically become quitters. Some of us are quitters in the fact that we never actually try to help them in the first place. And then there are the quitters who do try and then give up because that friend isn’t committed, so why should you be. These are all justified feelings! Trust me, I am not judging you! I too have tried to change people! It didn’t work!

Why didn’t it work? Because my friends were/are paralyzed. Just as someone who has been paralyzed physically for a long time has a hard time believing they will ever walk again, people we know that are mentally paralyzed believe the same thing. They can’t move out of their situation. It’s completely impossible. What we need to recognize and be very cognizant of when we are trying to address these issues with our friends is that it’s not our words that can help them. It’s God’s words. Only God’s words can help the mentally paralyzed. And when we know God’s words, then we CAN play a role in their healing.

You may be saying to yourself, “whoa lady, only God has the power to heal miraculously.” You are correct, only God has the power. But that power manifests itself in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, God can and does use His power to help heal people through the work of other people. A miraculous example of this would be the story of Peter and the lame beggar in Acts 3:1-11. The beggar had asked Peter for money at the gates of the temple and the following happened:

“Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’ Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” Acts 3:6-10

As the crowd grew, Peter went on to tell them:

“Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed – and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus’ name has healed him before your very eyes.” Acts 3:16

Peter didn’t take credit for the healing of this man. Peter knew that he was just a catalyst. It was Jesus’ power that was used through him to heal this man. It was the Holy Spirit that healed him. The entire beginning of the Christianity movement was based upon the apostle’s healing people in Jesus’ name and the growth of believers from those who witnessed the many miracles. God used people to help heal people, and in the process, His believers grew.

I’m not suggesting that you can place your hands on someone and heal them as the apostles did. Only God gets to determine who has that power. But I do know that the Holy Spirit can heal people. I’ve been witness to it. Both physically, through the miraculous healing of my husband’s paralysis, and through the healing of my own mental paralysis. And from the many people that I’ve known that have been healed. But none of these miracles happened without God placing the right faith-driven people in our lives, throughout our lives. Those people didn't see immediate results in us, some of them don’t even know the role that they played, but they did play a role. Their faith-driven words and the seeds that they planted eventually turned into healing and changed people into believers.

What if you could play a role in helping heal someone just like the lame man that Peter healed? Imagine the impact on their life. Imagine the impact on the lives of the witnesses. Imagine the impact on growing God’s believers. Imagine the impact of leading them to the cross. Imagine that in doing that, you are helping save lives. Then, doesn’t it suddenly seem worth it to never give up on that friend?

In Part 5 we tackle the final lie.

Lie #5 If I say anything, she might get mad and it may cost us our friendship.

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