“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea. So you should welcome her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints and assist her in whatever matter she may require your help. For indeed she has been a benefactor of many – and of me also.”
Its never a good idea to try to lift something heavy on your own. Not only will it make the task harder, there’s always the chance of injury. Even if you could do it alone, it’s much better to have someone help you.
So why is it often hard to ask for help? A fear of appearing weak or incompetent? An over-confident view of our own abilities? Not trusting others? The Bible teaches us that our desire to be in control is at the heart of our rebellion against God. We want to do things our way, and so we say ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to God. The result is we cut ourselves off from our Creator and also from our neighbour whom God put here to be a help.
In Romans 16 the apostle Paul introduces Phoebe to the church in Rome. Phoebe’s help and support had been invaluable to Paul. He instructs the Roman church to make her welcome and to extend the same help to her as she had shown to others.
It is working together that marks out our work as Christ’s disciples. We don’t have to worry about sharing the glory because the glory wasn’t going to us anyway. We don’t have to be capable of everything because God has given us people with different skills and capabilities who can assist us in the work. The message of Jesus opens us up to the blessing of others as we work together to show God’s love.