Friday, February 5, 2010

Am I My Brother's Keeper?

I'm teaching Sunday School at church these days -- a restful change from being a cub scout den leader, and almost as much fun. Sunday we're having a lesson on the choices that Cain and Abel made, and how we can make choices that lead us closer to Christ, or take us further away from him.

One of the scriptural references in the lesson is to 1 John 3:17-18.
But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue only; but in deed and in truth.

These verses really rang true for me when I read them this evening. I related them to the situation in my home.

Some of my colleagues at work are amazed that we have combined households with our daughter and her family while they are paying off some devastating medical bills. Some of our friends say, "Better you than me." Some of our family members become impatient because Mark and I don't have our home all to ourselves.

I prefer to take the longer view. I do have "the world's good" -- I have a large enough home to fit another family in, if need be. And while I can't help every needy person, surely "charity begins at home," and it's only the natural and right thing to do, to help out when a family member is in need and we are able to help. It's not enough to say, "Oh, I wish I could help," when we have the capacity to actually make a difference in the lives of others.

I love my home. But it's not really my home. I live here as a caretaker of sorts. I promised Heavenly Father years ago that everything I have, including my house, is His. Reading those scripture verses tonight felt like a hug from Heavenly Father, kind of an "atta girl," showing me that I am coming closer to not just dwelling here in my home, but a little bit closer to having God's love dwell in me.


Dorothy said...

Glad you found an "atta girl" to give you extra assurance in the things you and Mark are doing. I'm sure you already realize that you won't regret the assistance you are giving now.... but you probably would have had lots of regret if you had said "NO".

Carou said...

We are also doubling up for a bit of time with our children. My husband and I didn't think twice about the help we could give. We are grateful we have been blessed with a home large enough to handle 6 more comfortably. I love the fact we are an extended family where different generations can learn and love together. It's great to feel we are instruments in the Lord's hands.