Now Wash Your Hands

By James R. Henderson

Do you lend a helping hand? Togetherness is a strong tradition in African society. The idea is that no one stands alone, uninvolved and isolated from others.

The Xhosa tribe of South Africa has a proverb that illustrates the tradition. It is, "Izandla ziyahlambana," which means "the hands wash each other."

Have you ever tried to let your right hand wash itself without the assistance of the left hand? It’s hard, isn’t it? Our hands are designed to wash each other.

Taking care of each other is a foundational Christian value. We are to "carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2).

It’s easier said than done.

In today’s selfish world, it seems that we are far more concerned about what others can do for us than we are about what we can do for others. The idea of sacrificing our time or effort for someone else seems terribly old fashioned; yet Christ teaches us that we should serve others as he serves us.

Next time you wash your hands, and you see your right hand wash your left and vice versa, why not pause for a second and let this action, which seems second nature to us, remind you of your Christian values. "Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:11).

copyright 2007

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