Dependability: Who Cares? Part Two

Luke 22: 25 – 30

We need one another because inevitably we are going to have “trials.” Jesus warned “In this world you shall have tribulation” (John 16:33). Paul also reminded us of this truth when he wrote: “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (II Tim. 3:12).

Scripture gave us an example of the kind of care that is so filled with love for persons and truth that it risks the loss of friendship in order to defend the truth. Once the relationship is broken they reach out to work for its renewal.

Because of sin in the church at Corinth, Paul wrote them a letter exhorting, admonishing, and encouraging them. The admonition, that is warning of the consequence of their sin, temporarily broke their relationship with him. He then wrote them a second letter and in it gave insight regarding caring evidence that restored relationships.

Showing appreciation is essential in restoring appreciation. He wrote “… you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf… Now I rejoice… that your sorrow led to repentance” (II Corinthians 7: 3 & 9).

Psychologist/philosopher, Will James, wrote a classical work entitled “Principles of Psychology.” It is still a primary reference work in the field. He later admitted “an immense omission” in the pioneer work. He wrote, “The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” His regret was that he had not dealt with it at all in his book. Let’s not fail to deal with it in all of life. Make people feel appreciated. Show appreciation.

It is also expedient that separation be shown. “… let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God… godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation, not to be regretted” (II Cor. 7:1).

Some well-meaning Christians have turned separation into isolation.  They have become so narrow they can’t even get along with one another.  Some have gone to the other extreme and will fellowship with any person or ideology.  Both are equally wrong.

A couple of teenage sisters slipped in the side door of their dad’s office in the governor’s mansion after school. They explained to him again a popular dress fad they wanted to copy knowing he didn’t want them to.  Then came their big clincher, “But, dad, everybody is doing it!”

Lovingly and patiently he wove one question into their conversation: “Whose daughters are you?”  After their acknowledgement of him as their dad he said, “Sure, you are the daughters of the governor. You don’t follow styles.  You set the styles.” As Christians, our impact for Christ would be more effective if we realized that by virtue of being children of the King of Kings, we don’t follow styles; we set them.  “Come ye out from among them…”