DO FOR OTHERS AS CHRIST HAS DONE FOR YOU

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DO FOR OTHERS AS CHRIST HAS DONE FOR YOU

Peer teaching is a strategy that is often used to not only engage students by increasing their participation in the learning process; it also, and more importantly, forces students to process, internalize and reproduce the learning; and this, in turn, enhances retention.

You see, in order to teach their peers, students must first understand the information on their own terms, before they can relate those same concepts to others. Else, they would not be able to manage the doubts and questions that may come.

But this method is not new. The Bible uses this method too, and Romans 15 is one good example of this pedagogy in practice.

“We who have strong faith ought to shoulder the burden of the doubts and qualms of others and not just to go our own sweet way. Our actions should mean the good of others—should help them to build up their characters. For even Christ did not choose his own pleasure, but as it is written: “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.”
For all those words which were written long ago are meant to teach us today; that when we read in the scriptures of the endurance of men and of all the help that God gave them in those days, we may be encouraged to go on hoping in our own time.” Romans 15:1-4 [PHILLIPS]

The main tenet of Romans 15 is ‘do so that you will remember’; and the success of this method lies in one not so pleasant assumption of reality - that we are all selfish.

I mean think about it, if we were all altruistic and giving by nature, we would all have no qualms shouldering the burdens of the doubts of others. We would have no problems helping others build up their character and bearing the reproach of others. We would not give a second thought to the giving of ourselves. But the fact is, such behavior is not natural. When we do something good for others there is a part of us that asks, ‘what’s in it for me’. And when you give, it hurts and it is uncomfortable.

In fact, some even feel that the gift given or the deed done is worth nothing if it doesn’t cost anything, because it lacks sincerity, much like what David said.

“Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.” 2 Samuel 24:24

So however you skin that cat, altruism is not natural to us.

Yet, the infinite wisdom and love of our Father is able to turn this selfish attitude of man into an opportunity for Him to remind us of just how much He loves us. For when it hurts for us to give, that is precisely when we start asking, why we do it. Then together with the ‘why’, comes the question of how is it that we can actually bear to do good. And that is when we realize that we give because we have been given, we love because we have been loved and we are reminded of just how special we are in our Father’s eyes.

It’s like this. Try explaining to a friend something you just learnt and don’t really have a good grip on. Difficult isn’t it? Yet, as you muddle through the doubts, they get clarified, and areas which you never knew you had a problem with, get surfaced and resolved; and before long, you find that you are fully proficient; and so it is the same with our Father’s love.

“For all those words which were written long ago are meant to teach us today; that when we read in the scriptures of the endurance of men and of all the help that God gave them in those days, we may be encouraged to go on hoping in our own time.” Romans 15:4 [PHILLIPS]

When we read our Bibles, when we learn of the faithfulness of our Father through the lives of those who were mentioned, when we see Jesus at work in the lives of those whom He touched, healed and blessed; we try to believe that they will all apply for us. I say ‘try’ because honestly, until and unless you have had your eyes opened to just how much Jesus is working in your life, you will think that the Bible is one big book of old fairy tales, a collection of ancient ‘blog posts’ from like-minded people at best. And you merely ‘try’ to believe because Jesus said,

“…Blessed and happy and to be envied are those who have never seen Me and yet have believed and adhered to and trusted and relied on Me.” John 20:29 [AMPC]

So because you don’t want to miss out on a good thing, you ‘try’ and believe to hedge your bets, just in case there is some truth to what Jesus said.

And that is just like reading a textbook and not really having a good grip on the concepts. You can mouth the fact that hot air rises and when it rises fast enough over a small enough area, it draws in air from around and that causes a spinning vortex which then creates a hurricane. But unless you have actually seen one, you won’t really appreciate how real the concept is.

So in similar fashion, when you read how Jesus fed the multitude but you don’t see how your successful career or business is His way of feeding you; or you read of how He made the lame to walk and the blind to see but you don’t see how He was able to heal you through that course of treatment; or you read of how He raised the Lazarus from the dead but you don’t see how He raised your marriage from the dead through those counselling sessions; the Bible will just be a text book which you read but you never really understand.

But try giving someone else business advice after yours has taken off, try guiding someone else in their career after yours has been established, trying counseling other couples who are facing a breakdown in their marriage after the water of your marriage has been turned into fine wine; and I am sure that you will soon ask yourself how is it that you, who once were no better than those sitting across from you, can actually sit there and give such good guidance.

And even if you do all that and you get met with rejection and ridicule; your methods don’t work and you feel like throwing in the towel; I’m very sure that at that point, you will wonder why it worked for you and not for them. Then right at that moment, that little voice inside of you will remind you just how much our Father loves you.

You see, business strategy without favor will not turn your business around; career management without favor will not give your career the boost that it needs; medicine without favor will not heal your condition and counseling without favor will not rescue your marriage. While all those things are well and good, and our Father does work through them to effect change in our lives and bless us; they, in and of themselves, are not the solution. And it is only when we get stuck in and get our hands dirty by helping others will we realize that truth.

Indeed, “For all those words which were written long ago are meant to teach us today; that when we read in the scriptures of the endurance of men and of all the help that God gave them in those days, we may be encouraged to go on hoping in our own time.” Romans 15:4 [PHILLIPS]

Just as the words that were written long ago are meant to teach us today; so too do our experiences today open our eyes to the truth of the words that were written long ago. We don’t learn if we don’t experience; and we can’t experience if we are distracted by our emotions and become blind to the reality. But when we take a step back and

“…shoulder the burden of the doubts and qualms of others… …mean the good of others… [and] …build up their characters…” Romans 15:1-3 [PHILLIPS]

We see how real our Father has been in our own lives and get “…encouraged to go on hoping in our own time.” Romans 15:4 [PHILLIPS]

Beloved, indeed,

“…receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.” Romans 15:7

Change your minds to the idea of paying it forward. Don’t look at doing good as an act of charity. It is actually Jesus’ way of saying,

‘Hey, remember, I love you.’

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