Monday, October 31, 2016
We need other people's help to stay strong
We all go through struggles in life, but we were never meant to go through them alone. Something incredible happens when we discover the strength that can be found in sharing your weaknesses with others. Pastor Jonathan Josephs teaches a great sermon about the importance of inviting other people into our struggles in life. We are all prideful by nature, we want to cover up all our mistakes and weaknesses and we want to appear like we have it all together, although the opposite is true. Jonathan talks about how the Israelites in The Bible were able to keep building the wall around the city in the midst of great setbacks and discouragement. The key to their success was that they would help each other whenever there was an attack on the city in the weak places. In the same way each one of us needs to let other people help us where we are weak to be able to make it in times of trouble and despair. Our weaknesses may look very different, but we all have them, and we need each other to stay strong.
As Christians we are all called to treat each other like brothers and sisters, when somebody among us is suffering we are called to reach out to that person and offer to help in any way that we can. As Christians we are also called to be humble, to let others help us and to choose to reveal our vulnerabilities to others in our community so that they will know where we need help. Other people can't offer to help us if we are keeping all our weaknesses a secret. It requires a humble heart to share one's vulnerabilities and to let others offer their help, and it requires an unconditional brotherly love to make oneself available and offer help to others in times of need. This is the kind of lifestyle each Christian is called to live out, it's what we call Christian community.
Living in Christian community with others might mean that we decide to bring a meal over to someone who is sick or to a family who just had a baby a few days ago. It might mean offering to fill up the fridge for someone who is going through a tough time financially at the moment. It takes a generous heart to choose to live in this way and it takes a humble heart to be able to receive help when offered. One of my friends was on bed rest during her pregnancy and her Christian friend offered to come over and clean her house since she wasn't allowed to move. It required great humility from my friend to let another person serve her in this way.
A couple I know in church have two cars and live in a neighborhood where some neighbors can't afford even one car, anytime they see a need they offer their neighbors to borrow one of their cars. Sometimes it's small things God asks us to do for one another and sometimes it's something that requires great sacrifice from us. Every act of kindness matters to God and this is the way we are all called to live, serving each other in love. It's the way Jesus lived during the years he walked on this Earth. Jesus didn't use his time on Earth to make himself rich and live in luxury, instead he made himself poor so that through his sacrifice others could become rich. Wherever he went Jesus shared the good news about the Kingdom of God and healed those who were hurting. Jesus set an example for how we are all meant to live; to share the good news about God and to offer to serve others wherever we go. I love the gospel, this world can be really cold and sometimes over-complicates things, but Jesus shows us that life doesn't have to be that way. We simply need to talk about the love we have found in God with others and use our personal gifts to serve those who are suffering among us.