As Paul suffered in prison, he was able to endure partly due to the church sharing in his troubles. The people of God should be known for their willingness to walk alongside those who are in great need.
Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.
- Sharing in affliction starts from a position of valuing others.
- Jesus has the power to change the circumstances but greatly values the relationship and therefore meets them in their grief.
- People persist in destructive behaviors as long as they feel the benefit outweighs the cost.
- You can’t influence the other person any more than you are willing to expose yourself.
- You can’t know any more about the other person than you are willing to know about yourself. Be honest regarding your own issues.
- You can’t take another person any further than you are willing to go yourself. Pursue discipleship and accountability to work on your own issues as you minister to others.
- You should never do for others what they can and should do for themselves.
- Giving to another person is an act of fellowship. It is also often inconvenient.
- Giving, whether financial, physical, or your time, is an investment of eternal values.
- What kind of investment do you have in the cause of Christ?
- Have you entered into the fellowship of the cause of Christ financially or with your time?
- In what ways are you investing in others?
- How are you sharing in the affliction of others?
- Are you open to others meeting you in your own brokenness, or are you hiding it due to shame and fear?