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Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. 2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.– Galatians 6:1-3
If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? – James 2:14-16
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ – Matthew 25:34-40
It was an easy carry, listening to my friend. He’s got a tale of woes and seemed really to need an ear. Maybe you’ve done that for someone. A friend loses a loved one, and you call, and share, and listen. A co-worker loses her job and you meet up for lunch and commiserate. You might even remind her of some of the garbage she had to put up with (and that you still do). A cousin needs help moving and you lend your back to the task. Your dad is in the hospital and you go relieve your mom so she can get some rest. A brother in Christ is in the hospital and you go visit him.
These are the kinds of things we do to fulfill the law of Christ. Jesus spoke of such things in his teaching about the sheep and the goats. These are not profound sacrifices. We’re not talking about giving your car to a down-and-out dad, or paying some poor college student’s tuition. But sometimes…
I can share one time (though, sadly, there are many many I could point to) that I didn’t want to do the simplest of things. I didn’t want to visit someone in the hospital. After a long and frustrating drive, a futile trip to the wrong hospital, an additional drive through crowded city streets, and a long elevator ride to the 9th floor, I walked into her room.
Her response shamed me. “Oh Pastor Bahn! I’m so glad to see you. Thank you for coming to visit me.”
I like to set up young men who are in pre-marital counseling with a question based on Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” I ask them, “If someone were to threaten your sweetheart you would stand in their way, wouldn’t you?” “Of course I would,” is always the answer. “Please remember that when she asks you for the smaller acts of love, like taking a walk, listening to her when she wants to talk, cleaning up after yourself, or doing your share of the housework.”
Sometimes the littler things are more difficult to do than the big challenges. But we fulfill the law of Christ when we do the little things just as well as when we do the heroic ones.