The best way to stand up for someone?

[Notice: This month’s devotionals are some favourites from the past few years – and also previews of my upcoming book: “Up! – 313 Devotionals To Help You Start Your Day In A Biblical, Relevant Way.” Enjoy!]

I have three children, two girls and a boy. Several years ago I was wrestling with the older two. We do that a lot. Imagine screams mixed with laughter and the occasional head bonk.

They charge at me and I grab them, swing them around and toss them on the couch. They giggle with delight and then body-check me at full speed. (My wife cringes while all of this is going on—but hey, this is some of what we dads do best!)

But off to the side, my youngest daughter watches. She’s not sure if it’s serious or not. But she thinks I might be hurt and yells, “No, this my daddy!”

She wants to defend me. But all she can do is run over and give me a hug. She buries her head deep in my chest and tightens her tiny arms around my neck. “No, this my daddy!” I tell her it’s okay and that her brother and sister and I are just playing. But still she clings.

That’s how she stands up for me. Maybe she doesn’t know enough to hit out at her brother or sister, or devise some other clever strategy to offer rescue. The only thing she knows how to do is run to me and hug me.

When someone is hurting we often search for the right words or explanations. Or we busy ourselves with a hundred clever rescue strategies.

When all we need to do is be there.

In John 15:12 Jesus says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Sometimes that’s simpler than we make it out to be.

Is there someone in your life right now who needs some support? Maybe you don’t know what to say. Maybe you don’t have the right strategy. That’s okay. Take some teaching from a two-year old: Just be there. And maybe even give a hug.

Sometimes the best way to stand up for someone, is simply to stand beside them.

By Matthew Ruttan

-This Sunday I return to Westminster after some vacation to share a message called “Alt Right? Alt Left? — and Jesus.” Click here to learn more.


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