Summary: Christ followers are to care for each others needs in the body of Christ.
Caring for Oneanother
Peanuts- Lucy asks Charlie Brown “Why are we here on earth?” Charlie Brown, “To make others happy.”
Lucy -“Then why are others here?”
Most Americans would answer, “To make me happy!” You don’t think so? So why are so many upset with others when they don’t make them happy.
Rick Warren coined the phrase in the Purpose Driven Life, “It’s not about You” The quicker we accept that the happier we will be. Americans are all about me and the independent spirit, but the Bible reveals God is all about creating a caring community of believers. The phrase one another is used over 16 times in the NT including here. In the Old Testament God gave specific instructions on how to care for the helpless. The widow, orphan, the poor, the alien, the blind, etc. In other words we are to focus on others needs, and not just our own. Philippians 2:4 echo the same, Look not only on your own interests, but also on the interests of others. We by nature are selfish and we don’t have to be told often to take care of yourself, but it takes being born again with a new nature to think of others first.
I What Kind of Burdens ?
A. Two kinds listed here- one a backpack, one overwhelming burden
-This is not meaning you take all their burdens and they have none -they dump them on you
-We all have our own burdens to bear, some we really need help with.
-It is not meant for some to carry all, and others have none.
-But a loving sharing of heavy burdens.
It is not a Disney world -Prince on a white horse come and take Cinderella away from all her work, and he does everything for her with servants. She does worry, work, pay bills etc. She just sets around having others cater to her every whim. Sadly that is the dream of millions of Americans. Men and women. I’ll win the lottery and play the rest of my life.
B. Types carrying burdens (widow, orphan, poor, alien, etc)
Does Anybody Ask About My Arthritis?
Mamie made frequent trips to the branch post office. One day she confronted a long line of people who were waiting for service from the postal clerks. Mamie only needed stamps, so a helpful observer asked, “Why don’t you use the stamp machine? You can get all the stamps you need and you won’t have to stand in line.” Mamie said, “I know, but the machine can’t ask me about my arthritis.” People still need human contact.
-Poverty -hungry -homeless
II Caring is to be reciprocal
A. Jesus told of giving to those you couldn’t get anything back from.
B. In Close relationships like the home and the church one-way relationships should not be.
-There are givers and takers
-Alfred Ellis wrote the book “ONE WAY RELATIONSHIPS” which describes how dysfunctional relationships are in which one does all the giving, and the other one does all the taking.
Today however, we see many relationship where both are takers, and there are no givers. It is like two ticks and no Dog. They are both sucking blood, and there is no donor.
Inflexibility has ruined more marriages than adultery . This is a statement I heard on the Radio recently, and I think it is very accurate.