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Discovery Magazine 9/1/2010

Christians and Symbiosis

When people talk about symbiotic relationships, they mainly discuss animals or plants such as ants and aphids, sharks and Pilot fish, and yucca plants and moths. But if you think about it, the Lord’s church is a great example of symbiosis in which one person or group helps other people or groups. The Lord and His apostles constantly taught that Christians are supposed to help all people, especially other Christians. In Galatians 6:10, Paul wrote: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” The phrase “household of faith” means all those who are members of the Lord’s Church. Paul wrote to the young preacher Titus: “And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful” (Titus 3:14).

The Lord designed His Church to form symbiotic relationships among themselves and with those who are not Christians. It is easy to see how this works. Some members of the Church are very gifted public speakers and preachers. They can build other Christians up by teaching God’s Word. They can help those outside the Church by showing them God’s plan of salvation and converting them to Christ. Other Christians are good businessmen or businesswomen. They can earn money through their businesses and give it to the Church. The Church can then use that money to help feed poor people, give clothes and medicine to those in need, or provide shelter for those who might not have a place to stay.

There are others in the Church who might have lots of free time. They can use their time to visit people in hospitals or nursing homes, or to take food to older people who cannot get out of their homes. Still others in the Church have special skills that they can use to help. Some members of the Church are doctors that go to foreign countries and take care of sick people.

When we think about symbiosis, we should not forget that humans can be very helpful to their fellow humans. Those of us who are Christians should always be looking for ways that we can help our fellow Christians, as well as those who are not Christians. Many times, those who are not Christians will see how we try to help people, and glorify our Father Who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

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