We need each other
Next time you walk in the woods or go past a park, have a think about what’s taking place underground. As the roots of the trees connect with each other, they form a support system. One has access to water, another to nutrients, and another to sunlight. No single tree has everything, but when they work together they can grow, thrive, and withstand storms. This is a good illustration of how we should share and cooperate with others. ‘Then we will grow in every way and be more like Christ, the head of the body. Christ holds it together and makes all of its parts work perfectly, as it grows and becomes strong because of love’ (Ephesians 4:15-16 CEV). But this can be difficult, especially when we’re inclined to be independent. We want to fly solo, but sooner or later we’ll crash. It’s at that point we realise our need for these three things: 1) Encouragement. Even Paul needed cheering on: ‘Everyone in Asia has turned against me, especially Phygelus and Hermogenes. I pray that the Lord will be kind to the family of Onesiphorus. He often cheered me up and wasn’t ashamed of me when I was put in jail. Then after he arrived in Rome, he searched everywhere until he found me’ (2 Timothy 1:15-17 CEV). 2) Sympathy. ‘Be sympathetic’ (Colossians 3:12 GWT). We all need to be understood and have our feelings validated. But sometimes we’re in such a hurry to ‘fix’ people, we don’t have time to sympathise with them. 3) Grace. ‘Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others’ (Colossians 3:13 NLT). God’s grace to us should be our motivation for showing grace to others. We’ll never be asked to extend more grace to someone than God has already extended to us.
Do you know anyone who’s struggling with something that’s going on in their life and could use some support? Today, try to make some time to offer them the three things mentioned in the reading: Encouragement, sympathy, and grace.
The UCB Word For You