Angie Richey
Angie Richey

“Do you want to be healed?”

It’s a question I ask in the counseling room. While the obvious answer is yes, resistance soon follows. Our brains are wired for safety, and we often subconsciously resist the “danger” and hard work of change.

In John 5, Jesus asked this of a man lying at the pool of Bethesda who had been sick for 38 years. The man answered neither yes nor no, but with an excuse.

Resistance can look like blame, groupthink, self-pity, procrastination, self-sabotage or resignation. These are not the ways of Jesus.

Instead of nurturing the pain, Jesus empowered the man to “rise, take up your bed and walk” (v.8, NKJV). This was a call to the sick man to willfully participate in his own healing. He surrendered, obeyed and was restored.

I challenge us as leaders to be honest about our own resistance. Consider a cost-benefit analysis of your own suffering. Perhaps you suffer from depression, anxiety, fear, illness or worry. What is it costing you? How is it serving you? And then decide: Do you want to be healed?

May we embrace the responsibility and be restored!

Reflect + Pray

1. Read John 5:1-15 and ask God to reveal your unique patterns of resistance. Confess them to Him, and ask for healing.

2. Pray for those in your circle to be strengthened to embrace restoration.

3. Could a counselor or spiritual coach help you use assessment tools to gain greater insight about your personality and gifts? Ask the Lord to provide guidance and accountability in the form of trusted advisors as you walk toward your goal of healing.

4. On World Refugee Day, June 20, pray for those forced to flee from their homes, and ask the Lord to show you how you can surround refugees in your community.

Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.

is the vice president of enrollment, chief communications officer and an adjunct professor at Life Pacific College. She is also a licensed marriage and family therapist.