There are many good traditions among Christians. One is to receive someone else’s kindness and service toward them with thanks and instead of repaying to that person, but to repay to someone else like him. When I started to attend church, and I expressed my discomfort with the kindness shown by other church members to me, one person senior to me told me this. “Christians think of being kind to others as a virtue so there is no need to be uncomfortable. Just receive it with ease and when you meet someone like yourself later, you can pay back to that person.” It was very moving for me to hear this for the first time, and this may have been one of early motives for me to come to like the church and Christianity.
From then on, I began to say this myself. Whenever I was being kind or giving a small sum of money to someone that needed it, I usually said: “You don’t have to pay me back. When you meet someone that needs this amount later, give it to that person.” Bible tells us to not become burdened with anything other than debt of love (Ro 13:8), and this tradition beautifully keeps this spirit alive.
Starting last Monday, we held VBS at our church. Many children came to have fun, made great memories, and I heard that many children of unbelievers were in attendance. And I think this tradition of service is alive in this event as well. Not only have many adults served, but many teenagers served as well. There were high school students serving as well as those attending college serving while they came back home during their summer vacation. When asked why, they remembered other older students that served them when they were young and they only thought it was right thing for them to serve in same way. So I urge the parents of high school students to encourage them to serve in this capacity. It would be a great thing to teach them to repay the debt of love from their older brothers and sisters by serving those younger than them.
During the VBS, there were many older sisters that were serving even though their children had already grown up and had left for college. I thought for a moment, “Where are the parents of these children, and why these older sisters are serving?” Then one sister’s comment moved me. She told me that they perfectly understand a need for the younger sisters to send their children to VBS and have some free time, since they are continually under stress of taking care of their children. It was only right for the older sisters whose children had all grown up to give some relief to the young mothers from the care of their children for few moments.
I thought “this is another case of debt of love!” Through these people, young mothers can have a moment’s relief, and by remembering this debt of love and when their children are all grown up, they can come back to serve young mother later through their service to VBS. This is such a beautiful scene. This spirit is a great culture and tradition for our church. Another example of this spirit is in nursery where many older persons serve to free young mothers to worship without any worries. I think that we all need to remember the benefits we enjoyed through other’s service to us and learn to repay to others with the love we received later when we can.
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