Pink ribbons decorate every grocery store aisle.  Athletes run on the field with every kind of pink accessory possible.  Every type of item imaginable boasts a pink ribbon shape – from sprinkles and mints to hair clips and emery boards.  In case you did not know, October is a “pink cause” month: breast cancer awareness month.

I am not writing this to make fun of the efforts to bring about awareness and a cure to breast cancer.  I’m not writing this because I think breast cancer is not that big of a deal, because it really is.  And I’m definitely not writing this because I think breast cancer isn’t a problem we, as Christians, should be concerned with, because we should.  However, our actions and involvement should be on an entirely different level than the “average person.”

I have no issue with people looking for a cure to their life ailments, an answer to their uncertainties, a solution to their problems – at least, that all depends on where they are looking.  Are they turning to Jesus or are they relying on human help, human ability, and a human treatment to their predicament?

As Christians, we are to be Christians, not humanitarians.  Humanitarianism is the declaration, the resolution that the solution to all of life’s problems is found in human beings and if mankind would just unite together, we could “make the world a better place.”

The problem with putting our identity in humanitarian efforts is that it strives to bring a solution to life’s problems outside of Jesus Christ.  The fact of the matter is, Jesus Christ is the solution to life’s problems!  Jesus not only is able to heal physically, He can heal spiritually!!

Remember we are not here to “make the world a better place,” but rather, to “turn the world upside-down – for Jesus!”  Whether or not you support and encourage the breast cancer awareness efforts, remember to do so in the Name of Jesus: in Jesus, with Jesus, to Jesus, and for Jesus.

As we live out our lives for the Lord, we are to make our identity in Him.  When non-believers ask us why we do what we do, it’s not so that we can live a “happy” life, it’s not so that we can live longer here on earth, and (though this may sound unchristian) it’s not even to help those who are struggling and in pain.  The reason we do what we do – the reason we are alive – is to spread Jesus’ name and give glory to God.

Perhaps we prefer to be associated with standing for humanitarian causes instead of pointing those in need to Christ because we are ashamed to wear His Name.  Sometimes we are ashamed to identify ourselves as Christians because we think others will look down upon us, we won’t be accepted, or they will shut off from us.  However, Peter says: “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”  And Paul states: For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

So when living to “turn the world upside-down”, remember that our identity is not humanitarians – our identity is Christians!

About Paula Gooch

I am a daughter of the King, our Most High God. He has given His all for me and so my response is to live my life for His glory and His praise! {Isaiah 43:21, "This people have I formed for Myself; they shall [show] forth My praise."} The Christian life is about a response. We don't "have to do" certain things to receive God's mercies - Christ has already accomplished all that needs to be done! But since God gave His all for us, as we soak in that Truth and as God opens our spiritual eyes, our natural response is to praise and worship Him simply because He is worthy. That is why we serve, why we love the unlovable, why we pour out - not because we are "forced" to do it, but because once we've tasted and we've seen the Living Christ, how could we not praise Him, how could we not pour out our lives for Him, how could we not lay every crown at His feet?! {Psalm 34:8a, "O taste and see that the Lord is good"} It is my hope and prayer that as you read what I write, it would draw you into worshipping, praising, and glorifying our King. Let all that I say point you back to Christ who is the Only One Worthy. My last remark is to say that in Revelation 12:11, it says the people of God overcame the devil by the Blood of the Lamb (what was already done on the Cross which we cannot do in and of our own merit) and by the word of our testimony (which is God's faithfulness in our lives). I invite you to drop on in as I share little bits and pieces of God's faithfulness in my life and I pray you leave encouraged in Christ! All because He is worthy!!! ~Paula

3 thoughts on “Humanitarian

  1. As a survivor, it is frustrating to see so much push for awareness. Is there anyone not aware yet? Anyone who has not had a mother, grandmother, aunt, sister or friend stricken with breast cancer? I lost my mother to breast cancer when she was 48 years old, back in 1984. She did not live to see any grandchildren and my kids have a big void in their lives where she would have been to love them and teach them about Jesus.

    I had my bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction here in Torrance, but the reconstruction surgeon made a mess of things and I had to seek out experts who could fix things up. I found that the top team is in New Orleans. During my journey of seven surgeries in NOLA, I learned that 7 out of 10 women are left in the dark about their options when they are diagnosed with breast cancer. I co-founded Breastoration with two other patients and we set out to change those statistics, and also to give free reconstruction to women without insurance.

    The other two women are not Christians and being unequally yoked with them in this mission soon became very uncomfortable and I opted out. It seemed that the efforts were motivated by gaining attention from New Orleans high society, the press, and even our surgeons. I didn’t even attend the first big fundraiser.

    The sale of pink products is BIG business and highly profitable. It makes people feel good to buy pink and who doesn’t want to help find the cure? However, usually only the tiniest percentage of profits is donated. Sales (and profits) of products re-labeled with a pink ribbon for October swell enormously. Organizations pay millions of dollars in salaries to their founders, yet the treatment for breast cancer is the same as it was when my mother had her radiation and chemo in 1979.

    Better to personally offer your time to a patient by making a meal, offering a ride to a doctor appointment, sitting with her during chemo treatments….and share Jesus with her. We need to be there for women in treatment because it’s a lonely time when some friends will disappear due to their own discomfort and fear. Don’t just say “let me know if you need something”, because chances are, you won’t hear back. Offer something specific or just take them a healthy casserole that can be frozen if necessary.

    The cure for cancer may not be discovered before Jesus returns, but the life-saving treatment really needed is eternal.

    1. Yes, Sandy, thanks so much for sharing your testimony! (Revelation 12:11!) It’s great to hear about this from your perspective, as a survivor. What a great reminder that we are to “Be Jesus” to those in need (offering assistance to women with breast cancer) instead of simply “doing the good thing” (like buying pink ribbon products). Sometimes we do the “easy” things because it doesn’t take much effort, but doing what is right (even when it’s hard) is far more worth it! So thanks again for your insights, Sandy!

      P.s. For anyone who is interested, here’s a sermon about the breast cancer awareness campaign (I listened to it a few years ago, so if I remember right, I think it was pretty good :))….

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