Five Characteristics of Caring Christians

caring

Melvin Newland relates a touching story from the Special Olympics several years ago.  The children were having a great time and competing with tremendous dedication and great enthusiasm.  One event was the 220-yard dash. The contestants came to the starting line and at the signal took off as fast as they could.

One boy by the name of Andrew quickly took the lead.  And soon was about 50 yards ahead of everybody else. As he approached the final turn he looked back and saw that his best friend had fallen and hurt himself on the track.
Andrew stopped and looked at the finish line. Then he looked back at his friend. People were hollering, “Run, Andrew, run!” But he didn’t. He went back to his friend, helped him up, and brushed off the cinders. Then hand in hand, they crossed the finish line dead last. But as they did the crowd cheered.  Because some things are more important than winning a race.  Like caring.

When you study the New Testament one of the traits of  first century Christians was their compassionate spirit.  They helped each other.  Served one another.  And really cared.

One of the many examples is demonstrated by the disciples at Antioch.  Luke records what happened.

And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.  Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea.  This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. (Acts 11:27-30)

Here are five things we learn from the Antioch Church.

1. Caring Christians help those outside their church family.  While there are many opportunities within our local fellowship, we should not neglect the needs of others. Or ignore their problems.  There are occasions for us to help those affected by storms in other cities. Those who need financial assistance in other states.  And those suffering from famine and disease in other countries.

2.Caring Christians reciprocate to those who have blessed them. Christianity came to Antioch because of the missionary spirit of the Jerusalem church.  We all are in debt to those who have helped us, taught us and shared Christ with us. We should be willing to give back when the opportunity arises.

3.Caring Christians respond according to their ability.  Their offering was voluntary.  Personal.  And commensurate with their financial capability. When we care, we share.

4.Caring Christians are responsible givers.  Notice they sent their offering by reliable messengers.  And it was delivered to those they could trust who would disperse it properly.  We should not only care enough to help, but care enough to be good stewards of our gifts.  To see they are properly administered.  That they meet the intended needs.

5. Caring Christians follow through on their good intentions.  Note the text says “the disciples determined to send relief.”  They made a good decision.  Their intention was noble.  Their purpose was worthy.  But they followed through on their decision–“this they also did.”  It’s not enough to have good intentions, caring Christians are doers!

Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “Two are better than one… If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”

 We need each other.  When a brother or sister “falls,” let’s be like Andrew.  Stop what you’re doing. Forget your agenda.  And  lend a help hand.  That’s what caring Christians do.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

2 Comments

Filed under Christian Living, compassion, Ministry

2 responses to “Five Characteristics of Caring Christians

  1. Tina Fultz

    This is one of my favorites devotionals on giving Ken! Thank you! This was one of my favorite verses from your lesson Sunday. Our experiences help us to spread the Gospel!

    Phil 1:12-14
    12 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that my situation has actually turned out to advance the gospel: 13 The whole imperial guard and everyone else knows that I am in prison for the sake of Christ, 14 and most of the brothers and sisters, having confidence in the Lord because of my imprisonment, now more than ever dare to speak the word fearlessly.

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