Theology Thursday: Having Equal Concern for Others

Man in plaid shirt demonstrates caring for others by putting his hand on an older gentleman seated at a table

Living the Christian Life

It is easy to claim to be a Christian, but it is difficult to live according to principles found in the Bible. Thankfully, we do not have to earn favor with God or be perfect to become a Christian. The only way to experience God’s favor and become a Christian is to ask God to forgive us for all the sinful things we have done and accept the gift of His Son Jesus Christ.

We should be equally thankful that we do not need to be perfect to live a Christian life. But once we have accepted Jesus Christ, the outward evidence that real conversion has occurred becomes evident as the Holy Spirit aligns our lives with the principles of Scripture we faithfully read.

Over a period of time, and as we grow and mature in our faith, the change in our lives becomes apparent to the people who knew us prior to our surrender to God. However, having equal care and concern for others is difficult for both new converts and seasoned believers (1 Corinthians 12:25).

Equal Concern for Others

American culture promotes the care of self to an extreme. The evidence for this is found in any bookstore’s self-help section where books that promote the care of self abound. There are self-help books that cover every area of our lives, whether it is at work, play, relationships or any other area. Our culture seems to promote the idea that our concern should be for ourselves; no one else really matters.

The hardest thing about having equal concern for others is overcoming our bias (thanks to American culture) that we should take care of ourselves first; that others only matter if we decide that they matter. If you love someone, it is easy to care about them and help them. But for the person you find obnoxious and annoying, or who has hurt you, it is almost impossible to care about them and help them.

Caring for Others

Caring for others is love in action. Many people believe that love is an emotion and that if you love someone you can experience this warm fuzzy feeling whenever you see or think about them. However, if you ask a married couple whose marriage has lasted for decades they will admit that love is also a choice.

There are good times in marriage when you feel the love you have for your spouse. There are also dark times when you no longer feel such love and wonder if you would be happier elsewhere. The marriages that do not last do not survive the dark times. Yet, the marriages that last survive such times because each partner chooses to continue to love their spouse and treat them with love even though they may no longer feel it.

That is the way to make your marriage last and it is the only way we can care for others equally. We must choose to treat them with love no matter how we may feel toward them. The interesting thing is that if you treat another person as if you love them, you will eventually feel love toward them. This is true whether it is a spouse, a difficult person at work or church, or someone who has done you harm.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.