Social Support and Service

Samuel Smith


Social support is a vital factor in the promotion of health of individuals and society. Selfishness and pride have separated nations, kingdoms, tribes, communities, and families. Selfish interests drive wedges between us. True religion teaches that all nations are one in the eyes of God and that there is unity in the family of humankind. Regardless of our diversity, we are all one by creation, and we should respect the dignity of others in all societies. It is therefore imperative that we build strong selfless relationships with one another to fulfill the love of Christ. Such unity encourages a willingness to provide service to one another.

"Those who, so far as it is possible, engage in the work of doing good to others by giving practical demonstration of their interest in them, are not only relieving the ills of human life in helping them bear their burdens, but are at the same time contributing largely to their own health of soul and body. Doing good is a work that benefits both giver and receiver. If you forget self in your interest for others, you gain a victory over your infirmities. The satisfaction you will realize in doing good will aid you greatly in the recovery of the healthy tone of the imagination" {MYP 209.1}.

"The pleasure of doing good animates the mind and vibrates through the whole body. While the faces of benevolent men are lighted up with cheerfulness, and their countenances express the moral elevation of the mind, those of selfish, stingy men are dejected, cast down, and gloomy. Their moral defects are seen in their countenances. Selfishness and self-love stamp their own image upon the outward man" {MYP 209.2}.

"That person who is actuated by true disinterested benevolence is a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust; while the selfish and avaricious have cherished their selfishness until it has withered their social sympathies, and their countenances reflect the image of the fallen foe rather than that of purity and holiness" --"Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 2, p. 534 {MYP 209.3}.

A successful relationship is a two-way street. The better a friend we are, the better our friends will be. Below are some helpful guidelines for nurturing relationships:

Stay in touch. Answering phone calls, returning e-mails, and reciprocating invitations let people know we care.

Don’t compete. Be happy instead of envious when friends succeed, and they’ll celebrate our accomplishments in return.

Be a good listener. Find out what’s important to our friends.

Don’t overdo it. In our zeal to extend our social network, be careful not to overwhelm friends and family with phone calls and e-mails.

Appreciate friends and family. Take time to say thank you and to express how important they are to us. Be there for them when they need support

Selected References - Seventh-day Adventists Health Materials

Compiled by Mrs. Gifty Osei Dwumah