One Another Devotion - Day 26
Care for One Another
I recently read a Facebook post applauding the action of a stranger who stopped what he was doing to help someone struggling to cross North Avenue, due to a disability I believe. There were many comments and responses, all responding positively, but there was a common theme – people were celebrating this because it was unusual and not a common occurrence.
A month or so ago, I offered to help an older gentleman at Safeway unload his motorized scooter from his van. He declined my help, but we chatted for a few seconds anyways. As I walked away and back toward my truck, a lady I was walking past had noticed and commended my willingness to help this gentleman.
Even walking into a restaurant or store, holding the door for someone will often yield a bit of a stunned look, and a huge “Thank you!”
Why is it that some of these very simple gestures are met with such shock and surprise? In today’s world, there is a common theme of making it “all about you”. Do what makes you happy. Put yourself first. Don’t worry about others. Be selfish.
But that’s not God’s plan for us. In Philippians 2:4, Paul tells us “'Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
It’s even more direct in The Passion Translation – “Abandon every display of selfishness. Possess a greater concern for what matters to others instead of your own interests.”
We are called to look out for and care for each other, one another. Not just in certain areas, but in all things, through humility and selflessness. However, we aren’t to abandon our own interests entirely. The verse says to “...look out not only for his own self-interests...” (NKJV) and “Possess a greater concern for what matters to others instead of your own interests.” (TPT) We still have to meet our own needs, because if we don’t, we won’t be in a position to effectively help others.
I love the analogy of the safety talk at the beginning of an airplane flight – in case of an emergency, put on your own oxygen mask first, then help others. It isn’t about being selfish, it’s about making sure you are able to still breathe while helping others. But the end goal is to help and care for others.
In recent months, I have witnessed some great “caring for one another”, not just from our church, but individuals within our church. They have made meals for others in times of crisis. They provided meals to families who couldn’t afford them. They provided warm clothing to those who may have gone without. They have rushed over to a friend’s home late at night to pray. They have prayed with strangers in the store, parking lot or even a city park. They have filled up a gas tank to help someone get to job interviews. And there are so many more examples, and all without recognition or reward.
This week, I encourage you to give some prayerful thought to these questions...
1. How can you intentionally care for someone else new this week?
2. What area is the Holy Spirit prompting you to step out, in faith, to care for someone in a way that is out of your comfort zone?