Does Paul’s concern for the churches in Acts 15:36 represent the content of our concerns or do our concerns sound like this: “I’m so concerned for that person because they got that bad health diagnosis or didn’t get the job they wanted or has serious financial woes.” There’s nothing wrong with being compassionate towards all kinds of plight people find themselves in, but does the natural realm and earthly things dominate the areas of your concern for others? If so, what about their soul? Paul knew all about the intense pressure of living as a Christian in the world, all the while fighting off the sinful nature and the temptations of the devil. We find this mindset prevalent in his writings, such as in the familiar text of 2 Cor. 11, which describes how his concern for the churches supersedes all other pressures of persecution in his life. It’s also found in 1 Thess. 3:5 For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.
Yes, he’s an apostle and a frontier missionary so he is given a greater burden than a typical Christian, but we all have a ministry and spiritual influence over others. How is our concern level for them and then what do we do about it?