Gettin’ all up in somebody else’s business
I’ve been doing battle with insurance companies and medical providers this month. I’m frustrated because it seems like my urgent concerns are not shared by others.
Just to clarify, I’m intervening for one of my parents, not myself. But while the issue I’m facing is very time sensitive, it doesn’t seem like anyone else shares that urgency. When the workday is over, they quit and go home. The promised phone calls with updates never seem to happen. I have to initiate every time. My frustrations mount with every delay and bureaucratic hurdle. It feels like my problems are nothing more than that…MY problems. It’s not anyone else’s big concern. It’s almost as though they’ve got other things to do and this isn’t really their concern.
I’m quite certain I’m missing huge pieces of the picture and making unfair assumptions. But I bring this story up because it’s sometimes how we experience the faith community called the church. We can get focused on our own responsibilities and priorities and inadvertently telegraph the message to others around us that their pressing problems are not really our business. I know I’ve been guilty of that. Most of us have.
Then I come face to face with some challenging instructions from the New Testament (testament, BTW, means “covenant,” a covenant that is not only between us and God, but also between ourselves.)
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (Romans 12:4-5)
What does that mean to you? Each member belongs to all the others. It doesn’t mean that we are responsible for other’s choices. But it has to mean that we have a vested interest in their “business,” right? It has to mean more than putting in my hours and then quitting for the day.
We’ve got a ways to go in this area. The church in America is deeply entrenched in a culture of rugged individualism and self-reliance. Those are not actually biblical values. What does it mean to be in a covenant relationship with others who worship with us on Sundays? Or who sit in our Converge groups? Or who serve with us on the Host Team, or in PowerHouse, or Creative Arts, or ESOL? What does it mean to bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ?
What does it mean that we belong to one another? We think about gettin’ in somebody else’s business as prying and meddling and intrusion. But in a covenant community it means that it’s not just your problem. It’s ours. It means we serve one another. (Check out the remainder of this conversation in Romans 12.)
We belong to one another. What does that look like in your life? What could it look like?