Reasons We Avoid the Doctor
Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”
When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” –Matthew 9:10-13 (NLT)
About a month ago, I read a great post by Dusty Rayburn about showing mercy and he used this scripture. As I read, it spurred some thoughts in me that I want to expound on here.
In the natural sense, people avoid doctors all the time. Some people downright refuse, and as I thought about the main reasons why, I saw the spiritual parallels. Jesus, in this passage, describes Himself as a Doctor who helps sick people.
It’s a simple and effective analogy, but what about you who come to Jesus and declare Him Lord of your life? Are you not the righteousness of God in Christ and a brand new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)? Do you cease needing the Doctor after conversion?
Doctor’s certainly help sick people, but they also help those who want to simply maintain health and live productively. Seeking a doctor can often help you deal with issues before they become dilemmas.
But again, what stops you from going to the Doctor?
- Pride. When you consider yourself too strong or so impenetrable that you don’t need help, it’s going to cost you. A natural doctor has equipment and expertise to diagnose things early, but the longer you wait, the worse it can be. Pride cuts you off from God’s grace, and grace flows from being with Jesus (you know, the Doctor).
- Fear. Often people won’t go to the doctor because they are afraid of what might be found. Maybe that ache in the elbow is cancer. Maybe that persistent headache is a tumor. Worry and anxiety push you further and further away. In the same way, you may fear what God will say. You don’t want to do anything uncomfortable to stay spiritually healthy. That fear breaks down the spiritual immune system and leaves you vulnerable to attack.
- Tradition. How often have you heard (or said), “well, my family just doesn’t go to the doctor.” It’s been ingrained in you that doctors are for weaker people who can’t fend for themselves. Even those who recognize their need for a Savior can end in crushing legalism because of traditions. Instead of going to the Doctor to find out His prescription, you keep running back to the “way they always did it” and it may or may not line up with His word.
Thank God He healed, saved, and delivered us. We are not the same because we saw our desperate need for a Savior, but there’s more. You may be forced to go to the doctor when you have cancer, but what about the routine check-ups that are needed? It’s not enough to go once–you can’t live your fullest life that way.
You don’t have to run from Him. He loves relationship.
Do you ever feel like you’re avoiding God for any reason? What are your thoughts on this?