Anne says -
Maybe the lesson is in reciprocity. What have you done for people locally in the personal sense? Whom have you helped move? I know you have young kids, but everyone has something. If you don’t put yourself out there to help others, don’t be surprised if they don’t put themselves out there for you.
I started to answer several times, focusing on various aspect of the topic that she raised. Finally, I decided it would be easier to make it a post of its own.
The first point is just sort of a detail:
The entire point of the second post (where the comment was actually left), is that I am not connected to people locally.
So, yeah. I haven’t heard of anyone moving, for instance…
The second thing I started thinking was a silly desire to defend myself from what felt like an unjust attack:
No, I haven’t helped anyone move (see above), but we do help people.
I volunteered in the church nursery all last year, I taught at VBS this summer, Wolf has helped several guys with their car problems, Nick serves with youth ministry projects, we donate our hand-me-downs to worthy causes…
In fact, I think that attitude is perhaps at the very core of the problem!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not at all saying that I don’t need to give, do, or help. Of course I do! The Bible says so!
BUT, this is about the Church, not a business venture.
Did somebody check to see if I had deposited enough hours in the “volunteer bank” to be considered worthy of making a withdrawal (getting help moving)? Had I earned it?
It says, “bearing one another’s burdens in love” … Not, “helping bear the burdens of people you think are cool, who have previously helped you bear your burdens”.
Which leads right in to the fourth thought:
What truth there is the idea of “reciprocity”, it’s still supposed to be… well, not “reciprocity” per se.
“Pay it Forward” is better. Sure, do good. But not back to the person who helped you out.
If you get the praises of man for your good deed, then you’ve had your reward, and the Father will not reward you!
So unless I have helped you move, you probably don’t know much about the service that I have done. (I didn’t even list those types of things in my first point above, and it’s one reason I didn’t go out of the way to mention the names of the folks who helped us with the move.)
“Reciprocity” reminds me of the recipe for failure in the popular and true adage about marriage:
50/50 will never work. It has to be 100/100.
We are the Body of Christ.
Had any of the people that Christ healed helped Him out previously?
Were most of them probably “worthy” of His time and assistance?
That’s us, friends…