Quotes from 'Sacred Pathways' by Gary Thomas
“Caregivers serve God by serving others. They often claim to see Christ in the poor and needy, and their faith is built up by interacting with other people. Such Christians may (consider) the devotional lives of contemplatives and enthusiasts (to be) selfish. ...caring for others...recharges a caregiver’s batteries.” (27)
“Mother Teresa ...looked behind the eyes of the poor, the sick, and the needy, and said she saw the image of God. She learned to love God by loving others.” (135)
“For caregivers, giving care isn’t a chore but a form of worship. Martyrs need not apply.”(135)
“Some Christians will have a particular gift and calling for (caregiving). These acts of mercy are a very practical way for them to show their love for God, but also to grow in their love for God. Caregivers may hear God more clearly when they change an adult’s diaper than when they sit quietly in prayer.” (149)
“Caregiving is not a license to judge others who serve God in different ways...all Christians are called to care for others...there are different ways this obligation can be fulfilled... it is not for us to judge the validity of someone else’s worship.” (146)
1. “Adopt” someone – a prisoner, neighborhood child or elderly person; Open your home to people.
2. Help a friend through a crisis.
3. Help someone battling substance abuse
4. Volunteer for an FBC Community team, the Link visiting scheme, Yeldall Manor or other organistion.
SCRIPTURES TO PONDER
Esther. 2:11; 4:1; 4:13-14; 8:7-8; Ezek. 16:49; Story of the Good Samaritan; I John 3:14,17; Phil. 2:4; Heb. 6:10; Jas. 1:27; I Pet. 4:9-10; Mt. 25:35-36; Jas. 1:27
1. What are some of the ways in which you have served others? What motivated you to help them?
2. What “return” (positive or negative) do you receive when you help others? These can be spiritual, emotional, etc.
3. How do you feel about people who are not actively ministering to the poor, sick, etc.?
4. Do you ever minister to others out of your own need? Or because you feel you have to? Or don’t know how to say, “No”? Contrast that experience with a time when you freely helped someone out of a desire to minister to him/her.
5. Think about your relationships. Do you have relationships with people who do not “need” you? If not, how might you begin to develop friendships outside your circle of ministry?