None of us want to live our lives alone. We need people to walk with us, provide encouragement, friendship, a listening ear and sometimes a helping hand. It brings us joy and delight when people genuinely rejoice with us, and we receive great comfort when others are present and sit with us in our suffering.
We need each other. God created the body to function in this way.
“…all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.” (1Cor 12:26-27 NLT)
That is why one of our core practices is to care for one another. Jesus did this in his own life and ministry. He wept with Mary and Martha when Lazarus died. He was willing to touch the leper and had compassion for people who were struggling. He joined dinner parties, provided wine for a wedding, and celebrated when someone exercised their faith.
God values everyone and He deeply desires for us to care for each other. He has designed us to do life together, not alone. As one pastor says, “There are no Lone Ranger Christians!”
Caring for one another can be challenging. It requires time, flexibility, vulnerability and true concern. It calls us to see beyond ourselves and implies we know each other well enough to share life. Caring for one another is a two-way street. It means you and I have to be willing to care for others as well as allow others to care for us!
Who are the people around you that you that need your care? What are they celebrating? Where do they struggle? In what areas of life do you need care? What are some obstacles that you face? How can you integrate the core practice of caring for one another into the rhythm of your life?
As you consider how to engage in this core practice, here is an acronym you may find helpful.
C: Choose to be concerned
A: Ask questions
R: Remember someone’s concerns and joys
E: Engage in practical action
We are praying for you as you incorporate this practice into your life!
Lord Jesus, we are so thankful we are not meant to live this life alone. You have created us and called us to live in community with one another. That means that we have the privilege and responsibility to care for one another just as you love and care for us. God, help us to show your love and care in practical ways as we interact with the people you have put in our lives. Help us to extend care to others and be willing to be bold and vulnerable, allowing others to express love to us when we are in need. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.