It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get stuck into situations that need your help. Over-flowing bins? Empty toilet roll on the holder? Don’t think twice, just sort it. Easy fixes are good practice, but if the task takes you out of your comfort zone, even better.

Green: Do the washing up – even if it’s not your turn.

Amber: Whether it’s emptying the bins or cleaning the toilet, do that one job nobody likes.

Red: Offer to do some gardening for someone who’s been struggling to manage it or help declutter a room.

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.(Proverbs 11:25 NIV)

I live about a 15-minute drive away from a McDonalds. Fairly convenient if you fancy a fast-food fill-up, but the downside is that the country lanes within a broad diameter of its location are strewn with discarded wrappers, cups and containers. Community litter-picks help restore the landscape’s beauty for a while, but not for long.

When did our carelessness – or thoughtlessness, or even wilfulness – become someone else’s responsibility? This long-reaching question does have a solution: for us to get involved instead of leaving it for someone else, even if it’s their job.

Quite a while ago now, I decided that if I went into a toilet and saw the roll needed changing, I would do it. (I’ve become quite adept at negotiating the different holder mechanisms!) If I stepped into a cubicle and saw it needed flushing (sometimes, quite badly…), I would flush it, ready for someone else. I’ve reported malfunctioning cisterns, empty soap dispensers, and bad smells – not for my benefit, but for those who will come along later and have a more pleasant experience than mine.

Toilets are an extreme example, but it shows what ‘getting stuck in’ could mean. Most of the time we can be helpful without actually getting our hands dirty, but Jesus didn’t shy away from those jobs – He washed dirty feet and touched people who were unwell with all kinds of ailments.

For me, it’s a question of considering other people’s needs before mine, and doing something practical about it.

Don’t tell yourself it’s not your problem.

Bear one another’s burdens.

Make a difference.

Jane Clamp is the author of ‘Too Soon: A Mother’s Journey Through Miscarriage (SPCK)’. She is co-editor and contributor of two titles published by the Association of Christian Writers.
She appears regularly on UCB and Premier Radio and blogs for ACW, and local church bulletin Network Norfolk. A popular speaker, she preaches regularly, leads Quiet Days and women’s breakfasts and facilitates workshops and retreats for writers.
twitter: @janeyclamp
charity: Pump Aid