One Another

…through love serve one another.
Galatians 5:13

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2

We each have plenty of personal responsibility — lots to carry ourselves, so to speak. So how can we fulfill God’s design of loving each other, serving and carrying burdens? 

Keep an eye out
For myself, I’ve had to realize that the hardest part is seeing an opportunity. There’s plenty to do, stuff I truly need to do. It takes effort to take my eyes off of those things and also make time and space for others. It is important to keep my eyes open and really see those around me. Is a coworker coming into the office (or a video conference) looking overwhelmed? Is the neighbor who faithfully walks every morning absent for the last two days? Is a child struggling with social connections?

Elementary, but so powerful. We may often start the day with prayer for ourselves and our needs, but did we also pray for our coworkers and their success? A problem shared with us may not have any possible response other than a listening ear and a promise to pray; that promise is easy to give and important to keep.

Margin for service
If there is no time to ever help anyone, perhaps the schedule needs to change. Margin makes time to respond as we see people or as things happen. A day that is not crammed full, every minute, lets us fit in acts of service, big and little.

Share the load
We ARE in this together. God created community, and we benefit from it. Encourage a friend in good works, and you will likely receive similar encouragement back. Team up with friends to help another friend. Many hands make light work. Seek out people who will help you get better at seeing and serving others.  

There are so many more ways to love each other. What helps you?

2021 Goals

Will you make some goals for the coming new year? It may be a way to intentionally grow or strengthen a weakness. Here’s a path you can follow to make the most of your effort.

Examine your responsibilities. As you look through each segment of your life, consider what your priorities are and what could be even better.

Imagine a step forward in each area of your life. You may come up with a list that includes things like this:

  • Spiritual – Need to find concentrated prayer time rather than sporadic and occasional
  • Home – Start meal planning sooner than 15 minutes before each meal
  • Church – Exercise hospitality
  • Education – Take a class at the rec center to learn a new skill
  • Community – Volunteer at a local organization
  • Health – Walk 10,000 steps a day

As you review this list of possible steps forward in each arena, look at them in light of your current life. You know that a major work project is starting mid-January, so extra classes will probably not fit well with the extra effort needed there. You also decide to hold off on the volunteering until you do more research and find a good fit.

Looking at the remaining options, you feel they are equally attainable; so now it is a matter of choosing which one you will do now. Sometimes two work together well, as prayer and hospitality can support each other as you are motivated to pray for those you welcome into your home. Other times, a single focus would be better, allowing you to pinpoint your effort and set yourself up for success.

Remember: Don’t worry about the possibilities you don’t choose. They put you ahead of schedule the next time you sit down to evaluate. Remember that one step forward is better than none. And I assure you, no one can do everything all at once. Steady, gradual improvement over time will add up.

So let’s say you choose prayer and walking as your immediate goals. Great! Now how will you go about reaching those goals?

Start on the action plan. Brainstorm ideas that would support your success.

Is getting up a bit earlier enough to create the time in your day for prayer? Would a prayer journal help keep you on task and visibly show daily time? Do you need to hire a sitter or teach young children quiet time? Write done your ideas so you can choose what will work best for you.

Decide how you might like to get your steps in. Does early morning work best? Do you already have a device or app to track your steps? What habits need to change, such as where you park at a store or church? Can you combine your prayer and walking time, which would let each goal support the other?

Pick the ideas that you think will work best. Set up your reminders and schedule, as needed. Communicate any changes that you may need others to know.

Now you can work the plan you created! You have a goal and know the steps you need to take to reach it.