When Others Care
“I HAVE no fleshly family at all. . . . I take care of myself and have no help from anyone, and, believe me, there is many a time that I could use it. . . . Any attention, no matter how small, touches us very much. It is humbly appreciated.”
So wrote an elderly woman. Like her, older persons often are very grateful when others care.
But that also is true of many younger individuals. To her dear friends, one youthful person wrote: “I’d like to thank you both for being so kind and considerate, for taking us ‘young ones’ along, taking your time for us to have such a good time.” A small group had spent a day in pleasant and upbuilding association. Obviously, it had been a memorable occasion, and the note expressed gratitude to the considerate married couple “for caring so much.”
CARING REALLY HELPS
Those shown consideration often benefit greatly when others care. For instance, they may receive encouragement. Addressing her spiritual sister, another young person wrote: “You encouraged me when I got in a sewing mood, or a cooking mood, and you never criticized . . . I really love you as a Christian sister.” Yes, encouragement in wholesome activities—especially in spiritual pursuits—can benefit others.—Acts 11:23; 1 Pet. 5:12.
Yet, caring really helps in other ways too. Guidance may be needed, and surely it is much easier to accept sound advice when the recipient knows that the giver really cares. One Christian elder was pleased, indeed, to receive a note, saying: “Thanks for all the . . . guidance and time and caring.” The apostle Paul certainly cared about fellow believers, for he wrote: “Besides those things of an external kind, there is what rushes in on me from day to day, the anxiety for all the congregations. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is stumbled, and I am not incensed?”—2 Cor. 11:28, 29.
But when others care, there may be added benefits—those that are not so obvious. To the married couple mentioned earlier, a young woman wrote: “No matter how much I do for you, it could never be enough. I hope I never hurt either one of you.” Yes, kindness begets kindness, and it draws people closer together. Moreover, when you know that others care, undoubtedly you will never want to disappoint or hurt them. Just caring in return may supply added incentive to persevere in a loving, godly course.
SHOWING THAT YOU CARE
How can you show that you care about others? Doubtless, the ways are beyond numbering. But consider just a few.
“Become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate,” wrote the apostle Paul. (Eph. 4:32) He also said: “Let your brotherly love continue. Do not forget hospitality.” (Heb. 13:1, 2) Indeed, always do the kind, compassionate, loving, hospitable thing. Such action will show others that you care.
In showing hospitality, for example, is it not desirable to include persons of varying ages and circumstances, not just those of your own age and station in life? Jesus Christ once said: “When you spread a feast, invite poor people, crippled, lame, blind; and you will be happy, because they have nothing with which to repay you. For you will be repaid in the resurrection of the righteous ones.” (Luke 14:13, 14) By all means, remember the less fortunate, among them perhaps widows and widowers who would find pleasure in your company.
Of course, your means may not permit you to spread a feast. But do not let that trouble you. An inspired proverb says: “Better is a dish of vegetables where there is love than a manger-fed bull and hatred along with it.” (Prov. 15:17) On a certain occasion, when Jesus Christ visited his good friends Mary and Martha of Bethany, he stressed the excelling value of spiritual things. But what about a meal? “Martha, Martha,” said Jesus, “you are anxious and disturbed about many things. A few things, though, are needed, or just one.” (Luke 10:38-42) Yes, Jesus would have been satisfied with just one item of food, so the distracted Martha, as well as attentive Mary, could have gained some benefit from his teaching.
Christians can show that they care about others by associating with them socially. These occasions are made memorable by relating fine experiences enjoyed in God’s service, or by encouraging one another through wholesome, spiritually upbuilding conversation, group Bible reading or Scriptural discussion. Old and young alike can benefit from these things, and often the time seems to fly by. Friendships are strengthened and those present may long remember such pleasant hours spent together.
But what about recipients of hospitality or other acts of kindness? How fitting that they express their keen appreciation! This shows that they also care. “In view of the times we live in,” wrote a young person to cherished friends, “I don’t think we as Christians should waste (lose) any opportunities to tell each other how much we appreciate each other’s friendship. You . . . have been a help to me in many ways, some you may not even realize.”
Those who are properly motivated in showing concern for others do not seek praise for their efforts. Nevertheless, for giving of themselves they are rewarded because, as Jesus said, “there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.” (Acts 20:35) So both the giver and the recipient benefit from thoughtful words and deeds. What blessings result when others care!
“Throw all your anxiety upon him, because he cares for you.”—1 Pet. 5:7