Serve one another in love. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Let us not become weary in doing good. Gal 5:13; 6:2, 9
LIFTERS AND LEANERS, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
There are just two kinds of people on earth today,
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.
Not the rich and the poor, for to count a man’s wealth
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.
Not the humble and proud, for, in life’s little span,
Who puts on airs is not counted a man.
Not the happy and sad, for the swift counting years
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.
No, the two kinds of people on earth I mean
Are the people who lift and the people who lean.
Wherever you go you will find the world’s masses
Are always divided in just these two classes.
And oddly enough you will find, too, I ween,*
There’s only one lifter to twenty who lean.
In which class are you? Are you easing the load
Of overtaxed lifters who toil down the road?
Or are you a leaner who lets others bear
Your portion of labor and worry and care?
*Ween: archaic word, meaning to think, suppose, or be of an opinion.
Dr. David Rockefeller, once the president of the World Bank, said that people fit into one of two categories, lifters and leaners. Lifters make a positive contribution to everything in which they become involved. They light up the room when they enter, and they make us all feel energized and excited. The glass is half full, the spirit strong. In fact, we can’t wait to see them the next day. On the other hand, leaners are people who expect to be carried by others. They take more from the collective whole than they are willing to give as individuals. Instead of making a positive contribution to a common cause and shared endeavors, they live off the love and spirit and sweat of others.
Reality check: Even “lifters” need to lean on others occasionally! Jesus asked His disciples to watch and pray while He agonized in Gethsemane. It’s as right as can be to ask for help, prayers, encouragement, and support when we are down. However, as we have opportunity, and as we have strength from the Lord and each other, let’s be lifters whenever we can!
What makes a local church special is the spectacular attitude and unusually large percentage of lifters in the group. Shepherds who set the tone and show the way for all of us deserve our thanks. The enthusiasm of our deacons, teachers, and ministry leaders gives all of us a boost. And each of you, whether you greet a guest, sing from your heart, give of your means, bring a dish, hug a child, or smile your special smile, is a lifter. Thanks to so many who have lifted me and countless others again and again.
Written by Cory Collins
Cory Collins is a Bible teacher and a minister of the gospel. He serves with Keller church of Christ in Keller, Texas. He and his wife, Tanya, have been married since 1977. They have two children and two grandchildren.