BY BRYAN LARAMORE
“Nobody reached out to me during that difficult time in my life.” This is the phrase every pastor dreads hearing. When someone in the church goes through a difficult time, and they are a part of a church family, there is a natural expectation that fellow followers of Jesus will “be there for them.”
There is an expectation that a pastor, a church member, someone, anyone, would reach out and check in on you during trying times. And rightly so, as 1 John 3:16-17 teaches us to “lay our lives down for one another,” and likewise, “if you see someone in need, yet close your heart against them, how is God’s love in you?” When we neglect to care for one another in difficult seasons, particularly as Christians, we neglect the basic, fundamental teachings of Jesus: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).
The hard truth, plain and simple, is that we tend to be selfish. We can be selfish with our time, with our resources, with our lives. It appears we don’t intend to function this way, rather, it’s simply become a way of life for our current culture.
What we all need – pastors, church members, everyone – is to give generously to one another of our time and energy. As the world, even our own community, continues to heal from the deep wounds caused by COVID-19 and its lingering effects, may we all spend a little extra effort keeping our eyes open for ways that we can serve one another, care for one another, see one another’s side of the story, and give just a bit more grace to one another. Indeed, may we continue learning what it is not to live for self, but to live for the good of others.