Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Duty or Privilege

I really didn’t want to go to church. Everyone always asked about my family. “How’s your dad?” they would ask over and over again. I tired of telling them about his medical condition. Really, what I wanted to scream was, “How am I? I’m the one overseeing my parents care along with two teenagers, a husband, a full-time job and a family business! Why don’t you ask about me?!”

My father had his left leg amputated and was ready to move back in with us and I was petrified. That day at church, I ran into a woman who sometimes helped with Mom’s care and also provided total care for her mother.

“Paula. I’m afraid of Dad coming home. I’m afraid of physically caring for him. You did that with your father, didn’t you? How did you do it?”

She smiled and said, “Pauline, it is nothing. It was a privilege to care for him.”

I’ll never forget that.

It took several years before my caregiving went from a duty to privilege, but eventually, that is how I viewed it.

I’m glad.

“After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, ‘Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.'" John 13:12-14 NLT

Jesus always viewed servanthood as a privilege. He also taught that to His disciples.

As Americans, we tend to believe we have rights and we should assert our rights.

As Christians, we may have rights, but to serve and give up our rights is a privilege.

Just ask Jesus. Check out this passage in Matthew 16:24-25,

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.’” (NLT)

I once heard a Christian musician say that a Christian is someone who is bananas about Jesus. That is a great definition. So, when we love Jesus and follow Him, we give up our lives and mirror His.

Thankfully, He has given us the Holy Spirit to help us. The change that took place in my view of caregiving is nothing other than miraculous. Divine.

Lord, it is hard to give up our rights. But You came as a baby to live in this sin-sick world because You loved us. As you have loved and served us, help us to love and serve others. In Your Holy name, Amen.

Copyright © 2019 Pauline Hylton, used by permission.

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