From Friendliness To Friendships Through Caring

Preached by Pastor Art Kohl
August 7, 2005

Bible Text:

1 Corinthians 12:25-26, “That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.”

Introduction:

A “schism” is a crack. Have you ever heard the expression “he fell through the cracks”? There should be no “cracks” in the church (or, the body of Christ, as it is called in this Bible passage). How can we prevent people from falling away? God has given us a solution: “the members should have the same care one for another” (verse 25).

Friendliness isn’t enough. People need people who will genuinely care for them. We must go beyond friendly to become truly caring people.

How can we care for others? First we must be able to recognize a person needing care. Then we need to know the factors that keep us from being caring. Lastly we will look at two things that will stimulate us to become caring.

1. Five Signs Of A Hurting Person

A. The person’s countenance

Does the person look angry, depressed, upset, or sad? An overall demeanor is often a sign of a heart problem. Look deeper than the surface emotion. Why are they like that?

B. The person’s eyes

“The light of the body is the eye:” (Matthew 6:22). You can tell a lot about a person by their eyes. What are people’s eyes telling you?

C. A person sitting alone

People shouldn’t sit alone in church! “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10). Everyone should have a spiritual family in a church.

D. A person with his head down

These people hurt so much they don’t want to make eye contact. Maybe they have been hurt and are afraid of relationships with people.

E. A person sitting in the back

A person on his way out often sits in the back. Maybe they are feeling ignored or out of place. Watch these people – don’t let them slip through the cracks!

2. Enemies Of Being A Caring Person

A. Cliques

We all have a circle of people we feel most comfortable with. This is human nature. It is okay to have close friends in church, but we must leave that clique when we see people in need of care.

B. Cliches

Beware of words such as “Hi, how are you? Thanks for coming, good to see you, come again!” There is nothing wrong with these words of friendliness, but sometimes we need to genuinely ask “how are you?” and listen to the response. When was the last time you asked someone if there was anything in their lives you could pray for?

C. Comfort zones

If we aren’t careful we can spend every Sunday in the same seat surrounded by the same people and miss out on all the people God wants us to minister to. Look around and ask God for someone to care for.

D. Convenience

There are too many people who will not inconvenience themselves to serve others. “As long as I can care for others between 11:00 and 12:00 on Sunday morning, then I will, but don’t ask me to care for others during the week!”

3. Catalysts To Become More Caring

A. The Love of Christ

Jesus cared for you so much that He died for you! “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” (Corinthians 5:15). He died for us so we could live for others.

B. The Holy Ghost

“God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38). I challenge you to find one thing Jesus ever did for Himself. A person filled with the Holy Spirit will live for others.

Conclusion:

God put us here for a reason, and that reason is people. Self-centered people are miserable. Do you want real joy? Be an others-centered person!

“And of some have compassion, making a difference:” (Jude 1:22).

Copyright © 2005
Permission granted to freely copy.
Scripture verses are from the King James Holy Bible.

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