Walking by Faith and Not by Sight in Christian Caregiving

As Christians, God calls each of us to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).  This means our orientation in life comes from God and His revelation to us, Scripture–even if they happen to contradict our experiences.

Of course, we naturally want to do whatever works.  This is the business model (diagram to the right).

However, when we carry the business model into Christ’s Church, it can often be disastrous.  For then we do whatever looks like it works–even if it contradicts God’s truths!  In the end, the business model leads to an idolatry of results: the end justifies the means.  It is walking by sight, not by faith.

As Christians, we do not ask so much if something “works,” but if it is faithful.  For the results are up to God.  It is also the same in our Christian caregiving.  It is as the Apostle Paul wrote, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:6).

As Lutheran Christians, the diagram to the left shows how the faith forms what we do.  The faith also forms, shapes, and centers our Christian caregiving.

Excursus on “Catholicity”

Scripture itself says, “Most important, you should know this: no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20).

So Scripture itself says that understanding Scripture is not a matter of personal interpretation.  If understanding Scripture is not a matter of “personal interpretation,” then whose “interpretation” are we to use?  The Church’s interpretation.

In other words, we understand the Scriptures–not from our own interpretation–but based on what the Church has always confessed and believed them to be.  This our Lutheran Confessions also assert.  Within Lutheranism, “there is [to be] nothing that varies from the Scriptures, or from the Church universal” (AC 21, A Summary Statement, 1).

Read 2 Thessalonians 2:15 and 2 Timothy 1:13-14

–          Discuss “catholicity” and “solo scriptura” and what Scripture says about “sola scriptura.”

–          Today, how is sola scriptura often understood deficiently?

Walk-by-Sight (Results-Oriented) Caregiving Walk-by-Faith (Faith-Formed) Caregiving
Tries to do what only God can do – “God causes the growth” Focuses on what God has given you to do – “I planted, Apollos watered”
Focuses on curegiving Focuses on caregiving – “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).


–          Discuss the differences between Results-Oriented Caregiving and Faith-Formed Caregiving

The “10 Commandments” of Faith-Formed Caregiving

1. Care

–          “Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

–          Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment: love one another.  As I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34).

2. Listen

–          “Be quick to listen, slow to speak” (James 1:19b).

3. Encourage

–          “Encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

–          “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up” (Romans 15:2).

4. Respect

–          “Outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10).

–          “Honor everyone” (1 Peter 2:17).

5. Act with Kindness

–          “But the fruit of the Spirit is … kindness” (Galatians 5:22).

–          “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).

6. Act with Gentleness

–          “I [the Apostle Paul] … urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness” (Ephesians 4:1-2).

7. Act with Patience

–          “As God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, clothe yourselves with … patience” (Colossians 3:12).

8. Be Considerate

–          The Apostle Paul writing to Pr. Timothy, “Remind the people to be … be peaceable and considerate” (Titus 3:1-2).

9. Act with Compassion

–          “Be compassionate” (1 Peter 3:8).

10. Admonish

–          “Let the Word of Christ live richly in you, teaching and admonishing one another” (Colossians 3:16).


  1. It was good to see this in print. Reminds me of my struggles of being caring and considerate of my husband and his struggles while trying to maintain my Christian focus. At times, it is harder to be a faithful follower of Christ at home than to others.

    Been a long time since I was down by Branson. My family is from there…. I was living up behind the Catholic church when Silver Dollar City was a cave and a train. Enjoy the beauty of the area underneath the mass of construction.

    Following by faith is a struggle when we are bombarded time after time with the need to up the attendance and find new people to fill the pews. I trust in God to bring those in who see the fruits of the Spirit in my life and walk rather than trusting in my own ability to “convince” that this is really best.