I am just finishing up a week in Malawi as I write this devotion. During that time, I have had the chance to train some pastors on how to teach the Bible, spoke at a church, and visited an orphanage. In between those times, I have traveled extensively through the region and seen how people live and what they struggle with daily. The level of poverty here is staggering. It has made me contemplate how to minister to the needs of the broken. Jeremiah warns us against those superficial methods.
They have treated my people’s brokenness superficially, claiming, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace.”
Too Blind to See It
The times of Jeremiah were rise with a corrupt government and church. Everyone was out for financial gain. There were multitudes of poor who were going ignored, and when they dealt with the people’s brokenness, it was superficially. They were claiming that they helped people, but it didn’t amount to anything. Israel was headed towards destruction, and they were too blind to see it.
A mark of a healthy nation and church is that it takes care of those in need. It doesn’t just deal with the surface issues but gets to the root of the problem and deals with it there. We need to be able to see people like God sees them, broken. We can’t just do things that are going to make us feel better about ourselves after we help them.
Minister to the Needs of the Broken
Meeting the needs of the broken takes a threefold approach. You have to minister on the physical, emotional, and spiritual levels. You need to provide food, counsel, and Biblical teaching. If you give food and walk away pleased with your efforts, you have given false peace. They are going to be hungry tomorrow. If you preach to them about Jesus loving them and don’t show it on a tangible level, you left them with a mixed message. True peace comes from ministering to the needs of the broken where they are at.