“Do you want to get well?” asked Jesus. When Jesus saw the lame man at the pool, called Bethesda, Jesus challenged the man with this question. It was at Bethesda where disabled people would come waiting for the opportunity to be among the first to jump into the water, while it stirred, to receive their healing. For thirty-eight years, the paralyzed man had been in this condition (John 5:1-6 NIV).
The man’s reply to Jesus was “Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Note these words. Someone else gets ahead of me. Someone else gets ahead of me. Someone else gets ahead of me.
The above is not a typographical error. It is meant to register in your thoughts. “Someone else gets ahead of me.”
I ask you, “Do you want to stay well?” “Do you desire to move forward in your assignment? Is there someone else who is the focus? I ask such questions because there are people who seek your focus. They desire your supply of energy in their matters over your assignment.
There is a social disease, in our society, that has been defined as one which is permeating the minds of many. It is called Munchausen (Mun-chau-sen) Syndrome. Munchausen Syndrome (MS) is defined as an attention-seeking personality disorder. Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP) is the desire of one to be the center of attention. People who exhibit this type of behavior, according to research, often feel they are persecuted without reason. They feel they are the victim.
The feelings of victimization causes people of MSBP to stand at odds with others. It causes them to look for excuses in others for their reasons of being in a paralyzed condition. “I would have more if it wasn’t for “Johnny.” I could do more if it was not for….” The excuses are surmountable but the result is the same .
In verse 8 of this scripture, “Then Jesus said to him, Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured. He picked up his mat and walked. What happened before “then” is not in this scripture. It is clear, however, that there was some type of occurrence that made the man believe that he could get up and walk. Those who desire to be well, will take advantage of the opportunity to get well. Yet MSBP people do not desire to wellness; they are at ease to operate in this condition.
As servant leaders, it is important to “”Stay Well. “Pick up your mat and walk.” Do not be occupied by the spirit of MSBP. God has given you an assignment that is larger than MSBP. You must use your gifts to support the whole of the Kingdom of God. Jesus has told us that there will always be people who are poor (spiritually) among us. To consume yourself with the cares of this world and not God’s agenda, is not gratifying to Him. This does not mean that we are not our brother’s keepers – we are. Rather, it is a warning that we are not to allow MSBP to limit your ability to be God-focused.
MSBP people can cause you a sickness unawares. They will exhaust you. You will leave off God’s Will and take up their cause. Your prayers become centered around them. Your commitment becomes one to them – to walk in their direction and not the pathway that Jesus has called for you.
Do as Jesus ordered, “Pick up your mat and walk.” Immediately, the man did so and walked. He walked toward wellness.