Family Responsibilities

December 8, 2016 at 6:25 pm | Posted in The Family of Faith | 3 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Last time we discussed how you get into the family of faith. Now we will see that being a part of the family, while bestowing great blessings and benefits, also carries serious responsibilities.

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Galatians 6:10

In an earthly family, family members are expected to do household chores. In God’s spiritual family, we are to do good whenever an opportunity arises. For a Christian, an opportunity is God’s providence masquerading as chance or fortune. Let’s say a fellow church member has a need and you find out about it. Go ahead and assume that God wanted you to find out about it. In your local church family are you not presently seeing any needs? Just keep obediently performing the chores assigned to you, believing by faith that God will use them to meet a need or bless a brother or sister.

That’s how it works in an earthly family or household, right? You see a mess on the floor, and hopefully you recognize it as an opportunity to serve your family by cleaning it up. Maybe you think, “But I didn’t make it; it’s not my mess.” Then you remember, “No, it’s the family’s mess, and I am part of the family.” Somebody forgot to take out the trash? It’s a great opportunity to serve. Somebody offended someone else in your church assembly? Help “take out” the hurt feelings and encourage apology, repentance, forgiveness, and restoration.

The responsibility of “opportunity” in Galatians 6:10 goes even further. The Greek word kairos has a connotation of “timing” – of actively looking for opportunities. It is used in Ephesians 5:16 like this:

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:15-16

If you show up at church when you are expected, if you demonstrate you are trustworthy, if you have a heart to help, there are always chores – we call them ministry opportunities – that need to be done. Perhaps you have some spiritual gift or God-given talent that will eventually come in handy if you are willing and available.

The other kinds of household chores are things that you are assigned to do, and everyone knows that’s your chore. These are not “surprise” opportunities. They are planned, but they are opportunities nonetheless. Find something that needs to be done at church – or ask a church leader what needs to be done – and sign up to do it. And be faithful about it. Be consistent and trustworthy.

If you are responsible for an earthly family (especially dads), you know that (aside from a precious infant) you do not want somebody living in your earthly home who’s just a sponge – somebody who just soaks up the blessings, but brings no benefits. You don’t want a responsibility-shirking family member who produces burdens, but bears no burdens himself. You wouldn’t stand for it. I’m not sure God’s going to stand for it very long either.

Beware Familial Fidelity

February 19, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Posted in The Fives | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Israelites who came back from Babylon to Jerusalem to try to repair their city and rebuild their homes experienced extreme hardship. Not only was their work attacked by outsiders, but, in some cases, they were even preyed upon by their own people. Between trying to buy food during a famine, paying their taxes, and the great expenditures they were contributing to the rebuilding process, some of them were having to mortgage their crops, their land, and even their children!

Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought unto bondage already: neither is it in our power to redeem them; for other men have our lands and vineyards.

Nehemiah 5:5

Nehemiah, their faithful servant leader, was very angry when he heard about this, and rightly so. It was a classic example of the “us four and no more” mentality that – if we are not careful – will invade our Christian homes even today. I am not saying that we should not provide for our household or our blood relatives. A father who disregards his own family’s welfare is said to be worse than an infidel (I Timothy 5:8). What I am saying, though, is that Christian families who are blessed with resources ought to be quick and eager to provide for the needs of other Christian families that might be struggling. And we should never, under any circumstances, seek to take unfair advantage of, or profit from, another Christian’s struggles. Family loyalty can be a wonderful thing, but let us remember that we are, first and foremost, children of the family of God.


Entries and comments feeds.