Do You Want To Get Well?


One man was there who had been disabled for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and realized he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to get well?

~John 5:5-6, CSB


Remember the Cross and renounce all self-pity.

~Calvin Miller

There are somethings I am not qualified to do or say. I could say them, but if you know me, you would find them hypocritical. The following thoughts come directly from Calvin Miller’s daily devotion {UNTIL HE COMES}. I will put his words in parentheses. In John 5 Jesus heals the man who had been crippled for 38 years. If you have watched the CHOSEN, you will recall it was from an accident when he was a small child. The cripple man had friends who carried him to the pool of Bethesda daily. An under ground spring caused the pool to bubble from time to time and the Jews attributed the stirring of the water to an angel and believed that if you got into the pool when the water was stirring, you would be healed. When Jesus approached the pool, this man was lying there and Jesus said to him, “Do you want to get well?” At first thought, you might think this was a dumb question: of course all sick people want to get well. Think about it a moment; are you sure that all sick people want to get well?

Miller says, “Sympathy may not be the best way to get attention, but it is one way. Those who have gotten special attention from being sick for a number of years realize that without it they would have no real means of forcing people to pay attention to them. Did this cripple man really want to stop being the center of attention to all those around him? His sickness had become his way to wield power over others. Jesus was offering him new legs but once Jesus enabled him to walk, he would have to become responsible for his own welfare. It would mean getting a job in this dog eat dog world. Being made whole would set him free, but it would also leave him responsible. Was this what he really wanted?”

I think the principle applies to more than physical illness. I think it applies to anything that we make a crutch. I think it includes any form of victimization. I was abused as a child; my parents got a divorce; we were poor; I was a minority; I was treated unjustly and on and on. In my opinion, these are all excuses. You may not like Ben Carson’s religion but you have to admire his testimony. He was raised in the ghetto. He never knew his father but he had a strong mother who hated all forms of victimization. They were poor but Ben’s mom believed in hard work, sacrifice and she would not have anything to do with self-pity or excuse making. I relatively sure it was her influence that shaped Ben to become a highly successful neurosurgeon. No one cares what color Ben’s skin is: the man has earned great respect from all segments of society due to his intellect, hard work and his success in the field of medicine. Ben’s mother never allowed him to think that he was a victim.

I’ve even met preachers who claimed to be victims. Preachers are not victims; blacks and hispanics are not victims; poor people are not victims. Being at a disadvantage is not an excuse but many want to use it as a crutch. It’s like the old adage, “You can’t hit me, I am wearing glasses.” You can’t expect me to be responsible because I am a victim. Miller is right, most of them do not want to get well, they want to live off the system. They prefer a check to a checkup.


I want to thank my prayer partners: prayer works. It is hard to believe but today is March 1 and the weather is incredible. I have a willow outside my office that is putting on leaves, at least a month before it should. Our flowering shrubs have already bloomed and now have green leaves. It if doesn’t cool down a little, the Bermuda will begin putting out. I seeded my yard and Holly’s late last fall and nothing came up but now the rye grass has come to life and it looks like April instead of March.

LORD willing I will be in Athens most of the day. Having lunch with a cousin and uncle and then do some visiting in Limestone County and finishing up the Bible Study at Sardis Springs. I cannot say enough good things about this great church that does things no one else does {like have a JBS}. I do appreciate their kindness.

We have a lot of hurting people: my heart goes out to Eric and Andrea Kallas; all three of their children are either sick or have medical issues to deal with. It has been a hard year for the Kallas family so please lift them up in prayer. My sister Holly {Breast cancer} has not missed a service this week and has run the sound. She is good at it. She does not move out of that chair nor take her eyes off of those who are depending on her {hint, hint}. Pray for Holly. Pray that the fluid will subside. I couldn’t get Traci to answer the phone but I assume they are still in Little Rock. Pray for all our Cancer Warriors.

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