Taking Responsibility for One Another
Encouragement Principle: We revive village life when we take responsibility for one another.
By Sharon W. Betters
When Deborah called the Israelites to arms (Judges 4 & 5), their responses clearly indicated that some of them had forgotten their identity and purpose. Otherwise, all of them would have responded willingly to the need. Sadly, some tribes refused.
Deborah’s faithfulness to God flowed from knowing and understanding her spiritual identity. The Israelites’ disobedience flowed from rejecting their identity as God’s covenant people. Community life crumbled when the people no longer recognized their common heritage and responsibility. Once they no longer felt responsible for one another, they saw no need to encourage one another.
Their responses to Deborah’s call to arms mirror the attitudes we find in the church today when there is a need for encouragement.
The Tribe of Asher: Our own lives are full of urgent demands.
The Tribe of Reuben: We don’t know what to do, so we do nothing!
The Tribe of Dan: We give up when our initial efforts show no results.
The Tribes of Gilead: We are insensitive.
But the City of Meroz illustrates the primary reason we fail to offer encouragement: We do not understand our identity in Christ.
The practice of encouragement is rooted in our sense of belonging to Christ. The tribes that responded to Deborah’s call saw the threat of Sisera against their brothers and sisters as a threat against themselves. They understood community and were bent on demonstrating compassion.
Hebrews 10:19 – 25 offers the antidote to our lack of caring for one another.
1. Come near to God.
2. Contemplate the redemption purchased by the blood of the Lamb.
3. Consider the needs of the people in your village, whether or not they are believers.
4. Commit to acts of compassion that will alleviate distress and inspire courage, spirit, and hope.
5. Connect with the family of God.
6. Continue biblical encouragement
7. God provides the power and the desire. That’s grace
Reprinted with Permission from Treasures of Encouragement Planner by Sharon W. Betters, P & R Publishing
In His grip,
Sharon W. Betters
Digging Deeper: Hebrews 10:19 – 25, Judges 4, 5