Thursday, August 1, 2013


As a born again believer, I find the desire to help others to be overwhelming at times.  I get so much joy when I am giving someone something they need, especially when I can do so anonymously.  But unfortunately, I have to admit that my "carnal-self" also enjoys the praise of those who admire my "benevolence."  I guess the two sort of "cancel each other out" (Mt. 6:1-4).

For me, the real issue is, am I helping because I love the person, or am I helping because it makes me feel good?  I am not sure, to be quite honest with you, that there is anything wrong with having both motivations.  Jesus did say to give alms "secretly" (Mt. 6:1-4), but He also desires that we "practice what we preach" and serve as role-models for other believers (Gal. 5:22-23; Phil. 3:17; 2 Thes. 3:9; 1 Pet. 5:3; Jam. 3:17).

I have also noticed that whenever I do something to "be a blessing" to someone, there are those who are quick to scold me for being "used" by people.  I remember the reaction of some of my flock when they heard I had purchased a used washer and dryer for a poor family in our church.  While sitting at a dinner with some folks I wanted to witness to, one of them said my members were laughing at me behind my back for being "taken in" by, in their words, "those con-artists."  Needless to say, I had my sermon topic for the following Sunday!

People often are critical of me when I try to help someone, because they seem to believe they are wiser than I, and that what I am actually doing is enabling the person by "bailing them out."  To be honest, many times they are right.  But even so, when "tough-love" is warranted, ordinary love is better than no love at all!  I would rather be guilty of being an enabler, than guilty of having no concern or compassion for those who have "made their own bed."  We have all made poor decisions in life and needed someone to help us.  And remember, Jesus said "seventy times seven" (Mt. 18:22).

When God allows me to see a need, regardless of how that need came to be, and regardless of what others think is the right thing to do, I have found that the true test of what should be done is, "What Would Jesus Do?"  Better yet, "What Does Jesus Expect Me To Do?"  The Lord has clearly led me to give away vehicles, give cash at times, and once, He even had me give the jean-jacket off my back.  You may not "hear the voice of the Lord," and think those of us who do are crazy, but I am telling you, He speaks to those who will listen!  And if He is telling you to meet someone's need, DO IT!
God opens our eyes to see the needy; it is sin when we fail to help when possible! 


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