Have you ever observed a colony of ants? They are a wonderful example of a community committed to rescuing the hurting and restoring the weak. Those injured are cared for rather than rejected or abandoned.
According to research from Science Advances, when an injured ant attempts to make his way to safety without aid, it is attacked and killed by a predator 32 percent of the time. However, when fellow ants assist the wounded comrade to the safety of the colony, the victim often survives. Interestingly, when researchers tagged injured ants tagged with acrylic paint to observe their patterns, they found that an injured ant returns to full participation in the colony 95 percent of the time. In fact, 21 percent of ants in raiding parties showed signs of previous injury. In other words: the injured ants, after a period of healing, are often restored. Researchers concluded that without the ant’s rescue behavior, colonies would likely be nearly 29 percent smaller.
The ant colony’s “rescue behavior” provides a vital lesson for the body of Christ. Scripture tells us that we ought to, “Carry each other’s burdens and in this way we will fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). The Word adds, “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up” (Rom. 15:1-2).
We too are supposed to live out rescue behavior with our brothers and sisters in Christ. When a friend is down, perhaps wounded in the midst of a trial, Jesus doesn’t want us to run in the other direction because suddenly life is messy and inconvenient. No, rather he wants us to enter into the needs of our injured comrades, pick them up and carry them to safety. He wants us to help them heal and ensure they are fully restored to the body so they can once again serve His kingdom
Friends, we should take a lesson from our tiny heroes. When your brothers or sister falls into sin or trial, don’t abandon them. Instead, run back for them, carry them and restore them back to the body as a valuable member who has been greatly missed.
As Paul told his friends in Corinth, “If one part [of the body of Christ] suffers, every part suffers with it” (1 Cor. 12:26a).
Consequently, we are called to consider the well-being of the body of Christ—and not merely our own self-interests.
Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. (Phil. 2:2-5).
Like our tiny examples, we have been called to rescue the hurting, restore the weak and unselfishly serve the needs of our fellow members. The Lord has used the ant world to illustrate the behaviors we ought to display in the human world as believers in Christ.