Why Do We Care?

I love the care staff at this church. I have never been around a group of people that are this crazy! We have a ridiculous amount of fun everyday. Even though we joke and pick at each other a lot, the care department works even harder everyday to minister to the people in our church. Why do we devote so much attention to care? Because God’s word tells us to care for and reach out to those that are hurting around us. Several weeks ago God took me to some verses in scripture and reminded me about what it takes to effectively care for others.

Galatians 6:1-5 (New International Version) 1Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, 5for each one should carry his own load.

What does it take to care effectively for others?

1) Be able to confront in love (Gal. 6:1)

This is something that many people and churches shy away from. No one likes confrontation. It is messy, it’s not fun, and it’s difficult to handle. However, if a person or church truly loves another believer that is struggling, then they will love them enough to challenge them on the sin in their life and help them toward repentance and reconciliation.

2) Be willing to help carry the load (Gal. 6:2)

Verse 2 tells us to “Carry each others burdens.” The Greek word here for “carry” means to lift the burden of another in a time of need. It is not an instruction to take ownership of the other person’s problem, but a command to help someone with their problem for a short time. In other words, we are commanded to care and be sensitive to the needs and problems that others are facing. People are hurting all around us, and they need others that will come along side of them and help carry the load.

3) Do a gut check (Gal. 6:3-4)

To be effective in caring for others, you have to do a gut check and make sure you are staying humble and pure. Be pure! We have to stay pure to hear God’s voice and minister to the people he has called us to reach out to. We also have to stay humble. We all compare ourselves with others from time to time, but this needs to stop. God does not compare us with anyone else no matter what they are struggling with. Our standard is Jesus. Our goal should be to look and act just like Him, not to just try to do it a little better than our neighbor.

Philippians 2:3-4 (New International Version) 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

4) Stay focused (Gal. 6:5)

The first several verses of this passage were easy for me to understand and very encouraging and challenging to anyone that is involved in the care of others. Then I hit verse 5 “for each one should carry his own load.”

At first, I was confused by this passage. First God tells me to carry someone else’s burden, then He tells me to carry my own. Do these commands contradict? When I spent some time studying this scripture it became very clear that verse 5 does not contradict verse 2. In verse 5 the Greek word for “carry” is a word that describes a soldier carrying his gear that he is responsible for. In other words, God has given each of us gifts and responsibilities and we are called to honor God every day in the way we use those gifts and honor those responsibilities. We have to stay focused. God is telling us in this passage to carry the burdens of others, but not to get consumed by it, and even in carrying the load temporarily of others we must not neglect the responsibility of living a godly lifestyle and staying focused on Jesus.

God, teach us how to restore people gently that are struggling. Help us to see people the way you see people and to see sin the way you see sin. Help us to live lives that are full of grace and compassion for others. Help us to offer wise counsel to others in such a way that they feel unjudged and enable us to be gracious to people so that they are able to open up and reveal what they are truly struggling with. Father, Keep us humble and pure…we want to love and care for others the way you have called us to do it.

 

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