Philippians 2:4 - “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Ephesians 4:32 “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
John 13:34-35 - 34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
We are called to care for one another. The above verses are just a few of the multitude of verses that teach believers to care for other people. These are not optional and they are not to be applied sparingly. So, what does it look like to care for others? This begins with being intentional. Notice when someone is not in Sunday School or Church. This is especially true of new believers and new visitors. Most people find it natural to look for those that they have established relationships with to check in, but we have to be intentional about broadening our friendship base. That new person who has been coming for a couple of weeks is looking for relationships. If they do not connect with people or feel like an outsider, they will soon stop attending. We also have to follow-up with people when they share struggles in their life. Again, we naturally do this with people we feel close to, but as the church we have to be intentional about applying these skills to new people in the congregation. This may be phone calls, cards or text messages just to say, “I have had you on my mind.” In order to care for people we have to learn to love people, period. We cannot just love people who love us or are good to us. Everyone is created in the image of God and is on a journey. People are either on a journey to know Jesus or a journey to grow in our relationship with Him. This means we are all in process and grace should be abundant. Human nature says, when you hurt me that I either want to hurt you back or I want to hold onto the hurt for a long time and therefore have an impact on my relationship to you. Neither of these are good options. In order to love people, we have to see that we are imperfect like them. We also have to learn to forgive. We are commanded to forgive, so it is not optional, but it is also not easy. God knows this, but he also gives us the grace and strength to forgive because we have been forgiven. So, who do you need to care for today?