Some of our friends have chosen to curtail or leave their ministries this year. They did so in order to care for family members—for aging parents, ill spouses, siblings, or children with special needs. All were involved in fruitful works for which they were uniquely gifted. All believed that there was much to be done.
Some have chosen to reduce the time and energy they spend on those ministries; others have left their work completely. These adjustments have been difficult because ministry has been their lifework—a work for which they spent years in preparation and had many years yet to serve.
It occurs to me, however, that they have not given up their lifework but rather have assumed another. Loving and caring for others is our life’s work, and caring for those of our “own house” is the highest and holiest work of all. To deny love is to align ourselves with a cold, uncaring world.
Not everyone can leave a career or calling to care for others. Financial realities and obligations may dictate otherwise. But is not such love the mark of one who does the work of God? Did not Jesus promise that one who gives a cup of cold water to one of His children “shall by no means lose his reward”? (Matt. 10:42).
Thinking It Through
Paul says we are to help those who “are really widows” (1 Tim. 5:3-5). What does he mean by this? (vv.9-10). Who should help before the church does? (v.16).
True love is doing, not just feeling.