Be warned: I am preaching to myself a lot in this post. I’m sure it applies to others as well, but I have pondered and prayed over this very thing.
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So many times I will see someone in need, someone broken, someone hungry and hurting and then think to myself, “If only I had the ability to help.”
It is so easy to forget that we are supposed to always be willing and able to help another in need. We are surrounded by billboards and voices telling us that we need to look out only for ourselves and keep everything we can. We are so overcome with greed that we are sometimes unwilling to give up our material items when God asks, let alone another human being that hasn’t even asked but rather obviously needs help. Of course, I wouldn’t even be talking about this if our current way of living was not contradictory to what is written in The Word.
When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. – Deuteronomy 24:19
We are so stubborn and stingy, that we sit on our own material goods until they rot underneath us. What could have been shared with someone in need, we keep tightly in our grip.
What if we actually followed scripture? Oh sure, the Bible says to leave some of the harvest in the fields for those who pass through, and if we all had farms that would work. When we compare it to something we could do now, it all becomes so simple and doesn’t have to leave us in the poor house as well.
What if instead of ignoring the homeless man with a sign, we take him a meal and a coat? What if instead of spending money on something frivolous, we send help to missionaries or those working with refugees like those I talked about earlier this week with the #IAmYourVoice campaign? How about when we buy a pack of pencils in August, we pull out a few and set them aside for Christmas shoeboxes and/or stockings? Food banks for food we will never eat. A family in our church or a local shelter for clothes we never wear.
Now, I’m not saying to help someone else until you are in debt. I’m saying to share.
God calls us to help those who require help. To pray, to give, to have extra on hand should it become clear that someone needs it. God didn’t say to ask yourself, “If only”. He said he would bless us for all the work of our hands.