The fact that some people come into the world with severe disabilities disturbs us. We feel a deep sense of compassion for them, and instinctively wonder why they must suffer in this way.

Those who believe in reincarnation say such disabilities are penalties for things done in previous lives. But this theory is completely contrary to the teaching of the Bible.

We must be careful about placing blame when someone has a disability. When Jesus encountered the man born blind. His disciples asked, “Who sinned, this man or his parents?” (Jn. 9:2). But Jesus answered, “Neither,” and added, “but that the works of God should be revealed in him” (v.3). Then He did what He could to help—He healed the man.

We are not able to heal people like Jesus did, but we can make their lives more pleasant through acts of kindness. There are numerous opportunities to show love by offering practical help or a listening ear, not in a patronizing manner but in genuine friendship. When we show respect for others, we display the spirit of Christ.

Lord, help us to remember and uphold the dignity of every person. Help us to focus on what we can do when we can’t explain why bad things happen.