According to John, there is a story of Jesus seeing a man lying beside the pool of Bethesda. We are told he has been an invalid for thirty-eight years. Then it says, “When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’” (John 5:6 NIV 2011)
It seems like such an odd question. Of course, he wants to be healed. Who wouldn’t? That is what my head tells me, but experience has shown me something else. Many people have no desire to improve their life in any way, even if they have the opportunity.
A Church I once led had a skilled financial advisor on staff. We developed a policy that stated, “If you want financial assistance, we are happy to provide it, but you are required to sit down with a financial advisor for free to help you develop a sound financial future.” Suddenly our requests for assistance almost vanished. Once we told people our policy over the phone, we were greeted by the person hanging up or a simple, “Uh, no!”
Many people do not want to change, even if it is guaranteed to be for the better. I guess it might be because change is difficult. The other possibility is that some people love the mess of their lives. Maybe it is because the chaos brings attention. People are always concerned. Others offer help and prayers. Everyone repeats their name and talks about them in certain situations. They are known by all, even if it is for unsavory reasons.
Whatever you are struggling with in life, the first and most significant question is always, “Do you WANT to get well?”
There is probably a way to achieve a better life. It won’t be easy, but people are willing to help you. The resources are there, but we cannot give you the desire to use them. You will have to want it.