Every time I visit a friend overseas with a team from TLI he talks to us about a minitry of receiving. He tells teams that must be willing to receive what nationals want to give them. Sometimes that is a meal - knowing full well the family will not eat for a few days. Sometimes it is a simple gift of appreciation.
This is a hard thing for many Americans to swallow! We go overseas to serve, not be served. We emphasis personal responsibility - the ability to take care of one's self. When you hear sermons, you probably have not heard very much about asking for help, but a lot about serving others! Why?
Part of the reason is the culture we live in - one that has power and influence. One that does not ask for help, but gives help. Of course, this seems to be changing in recent times! Still, do you believe it is less Christian to be the receiver of service? Do you have a hard time asking for help when you need it? Are you slow to call people to serve you when you are in need? If so, why the hesitation?
The hesitation is the belief that you can always take care of yourself. You read the commands to serve, and you only think of yourself serving, not having your need met. You read passages about the body of Christ, and you only think of how your part works, not how the other parts serve you. This is dangerous. This is pride. This is sin.
Darren Carlson is the Founder and President of Training Leaders International. As President, Darren oversees the general direction of the ministry and serves as an advocate for pastors with little access to formal training and thoughtful cross-cultural theological engagement. You can connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.