In the past year, I’ve been reminded of the importance of caring, of truly caring for others. Though we may think of caring for others as a basic teaching or easy practice, it is actually anything but – because we must constantly be intentional about it. Shifting our focus away from ourselves and onto others not only changes our perspective, it changes our entire lives. So I just wanted to share a few things that have inspired me to focus on others.
Number 1: God wants us to care.
There have been several sermons given at my church in the past year or so that have taught of the importance of helping others. Here are a few highlights:
(1) God loves when we give because He is a giver. 2 Corinthians tells us that “God loves a cheerful giver” (9:7).
(2) We should devote ourselves to Christ’s teachings, sharing the mission, and using our gifts in service to one another. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).
(3) Serving those we love in our community is life-giving. We read about Jonathan’s young armor-bearer saying to him, “Do all that you have in mind. Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul” (14:6-7). Sure enough, the Philistines fell to Jonathan that day. Talk about being an encouragement to someone! Heart and soul.
Number 2: The world needs us to care.
Fahrenheit 451 is a science fiction novel published in 1953 about the future. It’s astounding some of the realness of the future Ray Bradbury imagined in the fifties. Because Bradbury wrote the book in the fifties, you must first imagine the past to then imagine the future he describes. So his future is our today, and what was his present is our past. Make sense?
Fahrenheit 451 is the tale of a world with people who have no feelings, crime rates that have skyrocketed, and relationships that end because people choose to care only about themselves. Underneath the surface, these people have lost all semblance of happiness and meaning to life. They’re ambitious, but only for the purpose of success, recognition, and fame. Though the thought of this fictional world isn’t an encouraging one, the point of the book is. Bradbury wanted his book to be one of warning. His hope was for his readers to do everything possible to avoid creating and allowing that kind of a world. He wanted to warn us of why we should always care for people.
Number 3: People inspire us to care.
It’s encouraging to me when I see other people care about other people. For example, I found out recently that my parents have helped a few someones in secret. I only found out about these times because the someones told me. My parents never said one word. I think because I found out from someone else, I was even more so inspired. This is a great example, too, of how you just never know when you could be inspiring someone else without even knowing it.
Nathaniel Buzolic, a fairly famous actor, will often read Scripture on his Instagram story. After I started watching The Originals, I followed him on Insta. I’ve been impressed with the way he uses his platform to be a witness for Christ in a loving, truthful way. On one of his stories, he read 1 Corinthians 10:24: “Do all to the glory of God. Let no one seek out his own good but the good of his neighbor.” Then he said, “If you want to find purpose in life, find something that’s not dictated by success, power, and money. When you go out and add value to other people’s life, you add value to yours.” In his position, I’m sure he’s seen success, power, and money, but he not only recognizes this Biblical teaching, he’s trying to spread these words to others. And what truthful words they are!
I hope you see these as inspirational moments, like I did. Perhaps this will encourage you to look for your own inspiration as well. Let’s take time for others. Pray for them. Help them. Love them. Let’s be others focused.