NEWS FROM THE FRONT PORCH: God expects us to help each other

  • Tuesday, May 20, 2014

God created many types of animals to help each other – an activity called “altruism” – even though some of these animals would normally eat each other. Consider the example of the yellowfin goatfish.

The yellowfin goatfish is a mostly white fish that swims in small schools. They often cruise around reefs where the yellow French angelfish live. The angelfish hide from the goatfish who might eat them. However, the goatfish are often bothered by parasites that lodge in their scales and gills. When this happens, the goatfish swim to the reef in which the angelfish live and blush a bright rust red color.

When this happens, the angelfish knows the goatfish has not come for lunch but to be cleaned. So the angelfish swims out and cleans the goatfish of his uncomfortable and unhealthy parasites. After the goatfish is clean, he stops blushing and swims off to leave the angelfish in peace.

Researchers have also studied a bird called the white-fronted African bee-eater. Members of this species help each other, sometimes even at the sacrifice of their own life. For example, one bird will face a spitting cobra to defend another, and scientists have been puzzled to know how this altruistic trait can possibly be passed on, when it often results in death.

Another common altruistic habit of the African bee-eater is that one female will put off starting her own family to help another bee-eater raise her young. Some argue that such behavior is limited to birds that are related. However, they admit that even adopted orphaned bee-eaters will help their adopted parents in this way.

God also expects us to help each other. There is a special group of people who helps like no other. A special thank you to the military men and women who serve our country unselfishly. We so appreciate the sacrifice of those who have given their lives to serve our great United States of America. Happy Memorial Day!

“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13 NLT

Dianne Brady is an author and speaker and can be reached at gracekeeper@comcast.net.

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