Am I my sister’s keeper?
Am I seriously responsible to God for being my sister’s keeper?
Being a keeper to a sister is one woman who empathizes with another. A keeper is a woman who bears the burden with her sister. Empathy defined is "the ability to identify with and feel loyalty towards". True sisterhood suggests a knowing. How can we identify and empathize without knowing what another might be going through or what they’re feeling? We have to get up close and personal to have this knowing.
A good place to go for answers is to the only place that holds absolute truth and that is God’s Word. The greatest Biblical example I know of being a sister’s keeper is found in the book of Ruth.
A short synopsis of the book of Ruth--Sheila version…
Naomi was the mother-in-law of two daughters-in-law. Naomi’s husband and her two sons had died. Life was hard for Naomi so she was leaving to go to another town and wanted her daughters-in-law to stay put. One of the girls, Orpah, chose to stay and go back home to her parents. The other girl, Ruth, chose to go with Naomi, even though there was no hope of any future, or even a way for them to get food. They were so broke once they got to town they ate by gleaning crumbs from the harvest field.
Ruth had a family she could have gone back home to, but she knew Naomi needed keeping. Ruth knew that Naomi had no one to care for her, so she denied herself, her future, and everything good about her life to make sure her sister was kept well. This decision wasn’t just politeness; it was genuine care.
There are three truths I want you to take away from the story of Ruth. Please take time to read this whole story for yourself.
1. Ruth made a decision to keep her sister because that was best for Naomi’s future. (Ruth 1:18)
2. Ruth made a decision to keep her sister, no matter what circumstance came her way. Naomi argued with Ruth telling her to go back home, but Ruth wasn’t having it. She went with Naomi regardless of the consequences.
3. God repaid Ruth. God blessed all she did for her sister. He saw her heart and her attitude and knew they were pure. She wasn’t posting selfies so everyone would see how nice and giving she was. She wasn’t looking for repayment, she was just doing the right thing to make sure her sister was kept well.
We may have our own burdens, but when we act the way we should and keep the right attitude and heart, then God notices and blesses us. He gives us that full life we’re looking for when we start focusing outwardly instead of on ourselves.
The rest of the story goes like this…Ruth got the good-looking husband who was rich and had lots of land and he took care of both her and Naomi and they lived happily ever after!
You may be asking what happened to Orpah? Well…what the Bible doesn’t say about Orpah speaks…volumes.We never hear Orpah’s name mentioned again. Orpah took care of herself, and honestly no one could have blamed her. She had no future with Naomi. What Orpah did wasn’t a sin; it was just looking out for herself instead of keeping her sister.
We become powerful and will bring much change into our worlds when we stop looking at each other with petty jealousies and competition and start looking at each other as being a keeper. When we start overlooking each other's flaws, loving each other with grace and dignity, building each other with our words of hope, healing, and encouragement, then we will revolutionize our churches and advance the Kingdom.
When women are united, worlds are changed.
One day we will stand before God and give an account for our time in our respective churches…were we a keeper? Did we bring unity through keeping our sisters? Or were we an island to ourselves? Removing ourselves and our gifts from the sisterhood of the church is no longer acceptable. Don’t slumber. Don’t sleep. Wake up!!! A keeper of sisters stands with open surrendered hands! She works to help others, not just make life about her own burdens, her own self.
A keeper of sisters stands with open surrendered hands!
Be known as a champion for other women, not someone who works to tear others down who might be skinnier, or richer, or ______________ (fill in own insecurity here) We can all do better, so let’s start today!
Am I my sister’s keeper? Let’s all answer with a resounding YES AND AMEN!!
My Sister's Keeper is ENTRY SIX in our blog series, Beneath the Surface. Did this message speak to your heart? It would thrill us if you'd share it with the women under your influence and other ministry wives.
Sheila Harper and her husband Jack recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary and have been in full-time ministry since 2000. The couple has two boys--ages 28 and 30. When asked what shaped her ministry philosophy, Sheila said, "Seeing the injustice of abortion on women and knowing what I experienced personally made me want to devote my life to making sure as many people as possible know the truth of what this choice does to you, the father, and to families." In her free time, Sheila enjoys "hiking, reading, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, and doing all of the above with good friends makes them even better!" Sheila's greatest passion and honor is "literally getting a front row seat to see some of God’s most tremendous life transformations happen right before my eyes. It’s an addictive seat to have and it never gets old." To find more information on the amazing work Sheila does in reaching those who have had an abortion, go to saveone.org. She blogs at sheilaharperblog.com.