Have you heard people say that Christianity and the Church are just crutches for the weak and naïve; that they need them to get through life? A crutch is a medical implement used by people for support when injured. A crutch does suggest the user is wounded. A crutch is temporary, but what Jesus and His church offer are everlasting. If seeking God and going to church is considered a crutch, what better support can we receive, especially when it helps us learn the truth about the Creator of the universe who invites us to lean on Him while we gain our footing and to remain with us as we face a world that will hurt us again.
Who is not wounded or injured?
Who does not need hope?
What do people rely on to get themselves through life’s struggles and difficult times?
People count on all things for their comfort or self-esteem, from material possessions, money, and food, to cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, and sex. Rather than being viewed as signs of weakness, many of these aids are considered relatively normal in society. Many of these crutches offer a short-term release from the struggles of life and sometimes only cover up more profound problems. To begin to recover, we need support, encouragement, and hope. We need to realize that we are created in the image of God for God. Trust and belief in Him can help us throw off the crutches that slow us down and prevent us from doing what He desires.
Many believers testify to the transformative effect that becoming a Christian has had on their lives, including being delivered from some of the crutches they had previously relied upon. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus invites us to Him, to let Him help us with our burdens. He says: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Jesus invites believers, through His church, to support others as they seek to cast off their crutches. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 shares: “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labour: If either of them falls, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up”.
God wants what is good for us. He does not wish life’s troubles to cause us to turn to a world that offers temporary relief with a placebo that hides or mask our needs and may even make life worse. When asked why Jesus hung around the hurting, sinners and broken, He replied: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. Luke 5:33
Jesus invites all His followers to help one another, but the truth is that Jesus never offered a crutch, only a cross. We must eventually move from our dependence on each other. His invite wasn’t a call to be a better person with high self-esteem or a plan to help us scrape through our existence. It was a call to acknowledge that the help we need and the forgiveness we all seek is to be found in Him. Proverbs 3 shares: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” As we grow with the support of other believers, we are guided to depend on Jesus. He is the one who delivers us from the crutches we have rested upon, and with the Holy Spirit’s prompting and support, we willingly submit to the Father’s will and trust Him.