Once I had to go out of town for a few days, leaving my father home alone. Though he is healthy and can take care of himself, I was still worried. Besides, all my relatives lived far away, so they would not be able to help in case of any emergency. I thought long and hard, and even though I did not want to disturb other people, I decided to ask my neighbours if they were able to keep an eye on my father for a few days, just in case. I was greatly relieved when one was willing to help when being asked.
Through this incident, I realised that often the problem is not so much on whether other people are willing or not; instead the problem is on us. We are fearful and do not want to bother others. The 21st century is a postmodern and individualistic era, and these two have affected the relationships of modern people significantly. Firstly, family members tend to move around more, causing a family to disintegrate, affecting the nuclear family and weakening the support systems around a family. Secondly, most people tend to mind one’s own business; hence, faith becomes an individual matter and unrelated to others, even family members’.
But God’s will for his people is to be united and to love one another. It is through uniting in Christ that we display His glory. God also gives us spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).
John Wesley’s covenant group is one of the many good ways to build up one another in the body of Christ. Some Bible scholars also come up with the following questions so as to be accountable to one another. Ask each other these:
1. Last week, was there any inappropriate interaction with the
2. Are you honest in your financial dealings?
3. Have you had any contact with inappropriate sexual matters?
4. Have you spent enough time praying and reading the Bible?
5. Have you prioritized your time with your family?
6. Have you followed your calling?
7. DID YOU JUST LIE TO ME?
Some people say that loneliness and fear of people are friends. The lonelier we are, the more we fear people; and the more we fear people, the lonelier. To overcome loneliness is to place ourselves in a “big family” (church), to experience God’s love together. The greatest blessing on earth is to be able to form relationships with brothers and sisters in the church, to show concern and care for each other.
By Winnie Chan Lay Preacher of Wesley Methodist Church, Sibu