In the previous four lessons we have explored ways to move towards dignified interdependence in our life and service opportunities. Critical to this move is learning to enjoy our dependence on God and to share with others in the matter of giving and receiving. As we learn to trust God more fully, to express our needs more courageously, and to listen to others more empathetically, we will see the most self-obsessed people turn to God, our most broken relationships begin to heal, and even the most distressed neighborhoods of our city become places of hope.
While this may sound idealistic, it is simply an outworking of the gospel and all it takes is commitment. God’s commitment to redemption is the starting point. Because of him, we can rest knowing our labors to serve others are not in vain and we can commit to serve in difficult situations over longer periods of time because the outcome rests in his hands.
Often our busy schedules prompt us to decrease our time commitment to helping others. We can try to compensate by increasing our efficiency and the visible impact of our service efforts – but nothing takes the place of genuine, committed, trusting relationships. In this lesson we will discuss the principle that our desired impact should be matched with commitment in order to increase the opportunity for dignified interdependence to emerge from efforts to help others and to increase the likelihood that the needs in our homes and our communities are met within these types of relationships.