What Can I Do To Help?
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my commitment to being a lifetime giver. Growing up, I was taught the principles of tithing, so that’s always been a part of my life. When opportunities arise for me to sow financially into non-profits or individuals determined to make a particular goal, I give. I also try to serve in my community by volunteering with various organizations when time allows. Over the years, I’ve even “gifted” my professional talents to others at no charge. So if you asked me if I was a giver, I would quickly say yes.
However, today, I was completely blown away as I sat in church listening to my Pastor, J.K. Akinola minister on mutual submission. Often times, when the word submission comes up in conversation it’s in reference to Ephesians 5:22 when Jesus told wives that they are to submit to their husbands.
However, the lesson today came from the verse before, Ephesians 5:21 says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Pastor Akinola taught on learning how to leverage yourself, your talents and your resources to help other people. He taught on learning to lean in to help others rather than pulling away. The message in its entirety was incredible but there was one part that stood out in my head for the rest of the day.
He challenged us to ask someone (spouse/significant other, siblings, parents, children, co-workers, neighbor, etc) each day, “What can I do to help you?” At first, I was thinking that’s a simple task and then I really thought about it and fear took over. Let me explain why.
I realized that while I do give, it’s typically at my convenience. There are some exceptions to that statement but I volunteer when I feel like I have free time. I support worthy causes financially when I have extra cash and decide not to spend it on something for myself. I’ve donated my professional talents but many times it’s been indirectly in exchange for something that would later benefit me.
But to randomly ask others how I can help them on a consistent basis carries some risk. I may be called upon to do some tasks that I don’t necessarily want to do. I may have to give up a planned, lazy Saturday afternoon to do hard labor. Or I may be pulled out of my comfort zone by needing to do something completely out the norm. Perhaps, I will be forced to not buy that new pair of shoes, so that I can sow financially unexpectedly.
Yes, it’s risky but it’s a necessary investment in others. It’s putting the true character of Christ in action in our lives. It’s the demonstration of the statement, “actions speak louder than words.” Asking this question means I no longer do what I think you need me to do but I actually wait for instructions from you on what you need.
I refuse to let fear keep me from doing any good thing, so I am pushing fear of the unknown to the side and will make it a lifestyle to ask others, “What can I do to help you?” Won’t you join me?
Scripture of the Day: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” – Ephesians 5:21