In a previous blog I shared a new reading style; I dubbed it “Reading Hebrew Style”. https://purpleprincessreflections.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/reading-hebrew-style/
I think everyone should read their Bible this way, at least once. I am discovering a vast array of biblical truths not seen in previous reads. The Bible’s become alive in ways I never imagined and provided new perspectives and new depths in understanding. Who’d have thunked?
My reading today began with the following verse: Romans 15:1 …”Now we who are strong [capable] ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbor [those close by, our countrymen, our friends, fellow believers, our literal neighbors) for his good to build him up?” I read the entire chapter, but found myself coming back to this verse, over and over. Does the church – do we as believers in Christ, have a responsibility to extend a helping hand? Do we offer it to only fellow believers or to nonbelievers as well? Does this verse have any bearing on the message you spoke to me from my hospital room, Lord? (More on this in an upcoming blog)
What about the disabled or aged; where do they fit into the equation? As people age many become unable to care for their selves. They become frightened concerning many things. They may begin to hoard food, no matter the expiration date. Some will become reclusive afraid to venture out into the world. Many feel alone and forgotten (because in many cases they have been forgotten and are alone). Others become cantankerous due to medication side effects and bodies no longer functioning as they once did. A sense of loss and grief becomes an all too familiar part of their day. And sadly for many their mind can no longer comprehend normal, from confused and erratic.
Society in many ways turns a blind eye preferring not to see the needs of others. Sadly so do many churches. We refuse to admit a need exists, saying, “They got themselves into this situation; it is not my responsibility; I will not enable them”, or “Aging is simply a part of the process”. “There are organizations to help the disabled and the aging; they should contact them if they need help”. “It’s not my job man!”
God is pretty clear in his Word about our responsibility. Notice God does not say to care for our families, only. Or, to care for our fellow Christian brothers and sisters exclusive of others, like some select brotherhood. No, he says our neighbors, those close by, those who do not have a relationship with Christ; mankind in general. God’s Word does not say we should help only those who are like-able and appreciative; we are to reach out and care for the unlovable and ungrateful too. He does not say to help only when helping fits into our schedule and is convenient; or only when it does not involve any sacrifice of time, energy or resources on our part.
Does this verse have any bearing on the message I received that night in my hospital room? The verdict is still is out. Regardless, the message is clear, I/we are responsible to help those less fortunate, those who are not capable, and those who are weaker than our self. It’s time we stop being a, “What’s in it for me people” and start responding and asking the question, “How can I be God’s hands and feet to others”?
Until next time,