by Heather Tietz
In all things I gave you an example, that so laboring you ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
A mother of little ones always has her muscles flexed: carrying sleeping babies upstairs, struggling with car seats, toting bikes back from the park, pushing strollers, running to save naive bodies from falling off shelves, tables, banisters, and counters. One day a mother was pinning up her own hair when her daughter noticed the muscles in her mother’s arms, “Mama! You’re buff!”
Many of us don’t make time for gym memberships or purposeful repetitive exercises. But simply pushing through our day, fixing, racing around, bending to clean, undertaking to do things ourselves means not only is the sweat ours but the muscle as well. Working hard to serve others is like a two-sided spoon. It truly is a benefit to us as well.
When Paul reminds us to help the weak, he really is offering us an armful of benefits. People in need are everywhere - single parents, elderly persons, immigrants, sick neighbors, poor children, those with disabilities. We are all endowed with both things and abilities, ways to pull others up out of their need and help them stand. Our work, our meal-making, money-giving, note writing, phone calls, prayer saying, or whatever our method, doesn’t just build others up, it builds our own physical and spiritual muscles as well.