Caring about caring
Ever get tired of having to care?
I do. I know that’s uncool and totally un-Christian but, some times, it’s an effort to care. Demands energy. Requires diligence.
Looking out for myself and my family can be draining enough. Come on, I’ve got bills and commitments and relationship dynamics and any number of other things which require me to care.
Having to also genuinely care about all the other things I could possibly care about is, frankly, overwhelming. Makes me tired just thinking about it.
Poverty or my friend’s sick child; civil wars or people out of work; church politics or the cost of milk. Whatever it might be, one thing is for certain: the list of stuff to deeply care about doesn’t get shorter.
So, why don’t I just stop caring? We all know there are too many things to care about. Might as well cut my losses, admit defeat, and feel okay about my inability to keep on caring.
But I can’t do that. Why not? Why do I care so much about caring?
The start of caring
I care about caring because God cares about caring. And I care about God.
I care about caring because Jesus cares about caring. And I care about Jesus.
And they call me — and you — to care about caring.
You might not know this but as far back as the beginning of everything, God cared. Long before Jesus showed up and perfected the art of caring, God created caring with acts such as solving the loneliness of the first human being (Genesis 1:18).
When Jesus made jaws drop by calling people to “love your neighbour as yourself” (Matthew 22:39), He didn’t just make that up on the spot. Jesus was quoting from the original laws of God’s people. True story.
As recorded in Leviticus 19, the caring concept of “love your neighbour as yourself” has been part of God’s guidelines for humanity since the kick-off.
What’s with all this caring? Simple: Caring should honour and glorify the author of caring, God.
God loves loving relationships. Loving relationships need care. Without care, relationships are transactions. Or formalities. Or dead.
Whenever we care, it’s not about us. It’s about being a reflection of, and a signpost back to, the source of care. Helping others to know where our care always comes from, so they also will seek after God’s incredible care.
But maybe you are still not convinced that caring is in God’s DNA? (if God had DNA, I guess)
How about this: caring is such a high priority for the creator of everything that he even offers a way for us to stay in relationship with him, despite how frequently we don’t care about caring about that.
I find it hard to keep on caring. God doesn’t, despite what it costs Him and his equally caring Son Jesus.
So, while there’s no possible way I can care that much — give me a break; I’m only human — I do have the antidote to my care fatigue.
Whenever I suffer from my regular bouts of that illness, I should return to the caring DNA of God. And seriously consider how to care well, in order to always point back to God’s care for me.
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