I was surprised this week to hear some solid Bible teaching on the radio from an unexpected source. Tired of listening to the news, I hit the button on my XM radio for Elvis Radio. The first song and only song I listened to got my attention.
While Elvis did sing some religious songs, except for How Great Thou Art, those were not the ones that made him famous. This song is not religious, but one line in it certainly reminded me of something we might agree sounds biblical.
I Can Help was written by Billy Swan and recorded by Elvis in 1975. As the title suggests, the lyrics declare that the singer can help the one to whom he is singing. Among other things, the song declares that “if you’ve got a problem” or “if you need a hand, I can assure you this – I can help.” Who wouldn’t appreciate such an offer?
As much as I like the confident offer made, and while offering to help someone in need is biblical, that isn’t what got my attention about the song. Multiple times in the lyrics the singer tells his listener “It would sure do me good to do you good, Let me help.”
There are a couple of ways to interpret the phrase “It would sure do me good to do you good.” One way to look at it is to see it as a selfish or manipulative statement. That certainly isn’t biblical and that is not how I take it. Whether it is what Billy Swan had in mind or not, I take the phrase at face value. I have been teaching and encouraging the same thing for the past 47 years as a pastor.
The obvious biblical teaching of the phrase is that it is good for us to serve others. Another way I have made the point in the church is by noting that we are blessed by our service rendered to others. We don’t help others in order to be blessed, but we are grateful to be blessed through our service.
The other point I have tried to make is that we should accept it when others can and want to help and serve us. By doing so we are not only blessed by their service, but they are also blessed by the good they do for us. When our pride prevents us from letting people who want to help us do so we rob them of an opportunity to be blessed by blessing us.
Here’s another way to say it: it would sure do good for both of us if you would allow me to do you good. In my life I have been blessed both by being helped and by helping.
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