How Can I Help?
The consideration of this question “should” be a very personal one. We are more than a little fortunate to work and worship with a group that has many workers. Still there is room for each of us to reflect on either what more can I do or, what can I do.
In Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, he speaks of his relationship with both Timothy and Epaphroditus. In 2:19 beginning we read of Timothy ~ “But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy shortly unto you, … For I have no man likeminded, who will care truly for your state … But ye know the proof of him, that, as a child serveth a father, so he served with me in furtherance of the gospel.” Then in 2:25 Paul goes on ~ “But I counted it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow-worker and fellow-soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need; since he longed after you all … I have sent him therefore the more diligently, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice … Receive him therefore in the Lord with all joy; and hold such in honor: because for the work of Christ he came nigh unto death, hazarding his life to supply that which was lacking in your service toward me.”
In our quest for an answer to this question might we be described as ones who are likeminded and caring as it relates to our opportunities to attend to one another as we serve our Heavenly Father? Of Epaphroditus we read the terms of brother, fellow-worker, fellow-soldier … the sight of him would bring immediate encouragement to those who he had ministered to. Hold him in honor … high praise for one who had obviously been a “big” help.
So, How Can I Help? It would seem obvious that I must be first inclined to recognize the need to do so. Absent of this, the help that might be provided will go unattended … as it relates to me! Philippians 2:3-4 ~ “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” It is easy to take care of me … it takes love for others to answer the question, ‘Can I Help?’ Am I so inclined? Am I looking to the needs of others? Or, am I consumed with my own wants and desires and content to leave this work for others to attend to?
In answering the question, “How Can I Help?” there will be some who may have the mistaken notion that they are not capable, that they don’t possess the talent to help. In Ephesians 4:11-12, we read ~ “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;” Maybe we fall into one of these categories … and maybe we don’t, what now? Verse 16 continues ~ “from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” I dare say that none of us are excluded from “what every joint supplies.”
The following is a somewhat humorous, yet pointed illustration of our question … consider it carefully.
Obituary of Someone Else
I know that all of you were saddened to learn this week of the death of one of our church's most valuable members -- Someone Else.
Someone Else's passing has created a vacancy that will be difficult to fill. Else has been with us for many years, and for every one of those years, Someone did far more than the normal person's share of the work. Whenever leadership was mentioned, this wonderful person was looked to for inspiration as well as results. Someone Else can work with that group. Whenever there was a job to do, a class to teach, or a meeting to attend, one name was on everyone's lips, "Let Someone Else do it." It was common knowledge that Someone Else was among the largest givers in the church. Whenever there was a financial need, everyone just assumed that Someone Else would make up the difference.
Someone Else was a wonderful person, sometimes appearing super-human, but a person can only do so much. Were the truth known, everyone expected too much of Someone Else. Now Someone Else is gone. We wonder what we are going to do. Someone Else left a wonderful example to follow, but who is going to follow it? Who is going to do the things Someone Else did? Remember, we can't depend on Someone Else anymore (Author Unknown).
How Can I Help? A keen, selfless realization that the potential for growth is either hindered or helped by my answer to this question and the impact it may have on others who need to “Come to Jesus.”