2. Help One Another. One thing I think we often forget is that we are called to help someone whether they seem to deserve it or not! Matthew 5:44 and Luke 6:27 quote Jesus as saying, "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" In Luke, He goes on to say,"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back."
We are to love, serve and help even our enemies and those who would do us harm. We are to love and serve them without expecting anything back. I know this is hard, and we can't expect everyone to be able to do this, but this is the example Christ lived and the command he gives us.
One of the questions I received was this:
"I feel afraid to ask for help because maybe I'll ask for too much or too often...I wish there were social rules around them, like 'No more than 3 small favors, or only 1 big favor every month, except in times of crisis'. Maybe Miss Manners should have a go at this."
I have no idea what "Miss Manners" response was, but I know that the biblical expectation is "I will help you, no matter who you are, no matter for how long, no matter the cost to me, and no matter if you can pay me back or not. Period."
Even though this is the ideal, we should also be considerate of others, their schedules and families, et al, as well. So, be wise in asking for help, but know that when you are asking for what you need, you are doing exactly what God would have you do. He wants us to take care of each other. While no where in scripture is the exact quote, "God will never give you more than you can handle," I think this concept is true when someone is plugged into a Christian community. This is one very big way that God takes care of us: through the Body of Christ. We are to bravely ask for what another person can give to us, knowing that it is exactly the way it is supposed to be...whether we feel we "deserve" it or not.