Yours, Mine, & Ours


By Rick Moore,

During the first year of college, I was elected freshman class president. Two days before the first monthly meeting that I was to preside over, a tornado ripped through the city destroying dozens of homes. I proposed we do our part and help those who were less fortunate. The entire class voted unanimously to volunteer their time on Saturday by cleaning up residential areas which were hit the hardest. When Saturday morning came, only seven students out of the hundreds of freshmen actually showed up to help. It was at that moment I learned a profound lesson. We can share our response, have the ability to help, but not accept response + ability. It’s easy to speak up. It’s harder to show up. The word and the deed should go hand in hand.

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What is a response without responsibility? Let’s look at a couple of examples. If a city says they are a sanctuary city but refuse to provide sanctuary, that is a response without responsibility. If some say they support adoption but do not adopt, become a foster parent, or at least support an adoption organization, that is a response without responsibility. In no way does this make the response wrong. It just makes it weak and hollow.

When we do take responsibility to make a difference with the resources we have, it is important not to guilt trip others, or become involved in virtue signaling. I know someone who volunteers by assisting patients in a hospice. I do not feel guilty that I don’t have time during this season of my life to do the same. There are dozens of worthy causes I do not contribute to. All of us are all limited on how much responsibility we can take on. I can’t help everyone, but I can help someone.

Another pitfall to avoid is volunteering others. It took me years to realize that volunteering myself was often “volunteering my wife,” even if she was not going to be directly involved. If I agree to coach a ball team, be a camp counselor for a week, help children with disabilities, or volunteer in youth ministry at my church, that equals less time for me to be at home helping my family. Often, my wife has handled the chores I would have been doing if I was home. Every time I went on a mission trip, I had to remind myself how blessed I am to have an awesome spouse who is willing to do so many extra things behind the scenes so I could be gone. No one likes to be “volun-told” (told they have to volunteer). It is wise to ask your spouse or family members for their blessing before taking on new responsibilities.

Maybe it’s been a while since you volunteered at a local church, school or community event. Maybe it has been a while since you contributed to Shriners Hospitals or Saint Jude’s Hospital. Refrain from becoming involved out of guilt or pressure. Ask yourself what is a good fit for you. Usually, when people buy vehicles, they kick the tires and take it out for a test drive. Approach volunteering in a similar way. Don’t make long-term commitments until you discover what you are most fulfilled doing. You may believe you will be happy working with fifth graders, but later discover you enjoy working with high schoolers instead. You may think soccer is the sport you want to coach, but later find out you enjoy t-ball instead. You can’t do everything, but always remember, you can do something.

I cannot take resources with me once I leave this earth. You cannot take resources with you once you leave this earth. One day yours will be gone. One day mine will be gone. The only thing which will be left is ours.

Rick Moore is Communications Pastor at Destiny Worship Center.

SWal Life
Author: SWal Life