I am amazed at how we think that we can help God by helping other people. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that we are our brothers’ keepers but we could sometimes make the job easier and see a greater result in our efforts if we would ask God how He would like us to approach the commandment of helping not only our brothers and sisters in Jesus but those who we are trying to introduce to Him. We have become so money oriented that we think the only way to solve a problem that someone is going through is to throw money at their problem. A lot of the times the trials that someone is going through is money related and we are required to reach in our back pocket and give of our own money to help those who are down and out but at the same time trying to encourage them to not give up on God while trying not to enable them to continue in the lifestyle that has led them to the predicament they are in. This is a very fine line to discern and needs to be addressed by hearing from our Lord on what He would have us to do and how he would have us to help the person in need while not condemning them and yet encourage them to seek help from God. I can compare Mother Teresa, a woman who dedicated her life to helping the poor and underprivileged through no fault of their own were born into abstract poverty or were born being infected with the HIV virus. She could give all she had financially and probably did, yet her greatest gift to the people that she was ministering to was the encouragement in hope. Yet this was her calling by God and He greatly blessed her work and faithfulness in her calling. Now let’s consider Chuck Colson a man who was convicted in the Watergate scandal. While in prison he started to minister to fellow prisoners. His ministry did not consist of telling or teaching other prisoners how to perpetrate the perfect crime but rather to repent and to accept the forgiveness and pardon through Jesus Christ. Two separate ministries but both were founded on the principles of helping others after they had heard from God.
I write this from personal experience. When I was a young person in the faith my brother and I were in business together and we hired this man named Pete. After a while we found out that Pete had spent 18 years in Lowell Massachusetts for second degree murder. We witnessed to Pete and got him too accept the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior. However, Pete was having a hard time adjusting to the life of freedom after having been incarcerated for over half of his life and wound up getting in trouble and received a one year sentence in the county jail. After a few months he was made a trustee and could receive visitors during his lunch break while working on this side of the road clearing out ditches. My pastor called me and asked if I would like to go with him to visit Pete. Of course I said yes and after the meeting Pete asked me if I had a few dollars so he could get him a candy bar from the commissary and I said sure. I had no singles and I gave him a $20.00 bill. On the way home my pastor who is usually very talkative said I don’t know if I would have given him that $20.00. I brushed it off and said I was making good money and maybe that would keep him in candy for at least a month. The pastor was absolutely right, for Pete took the $20.00 and that night gave it to a guard for a bottle of whiskey that cost about $8.00 at the time and kept the rest of the money and gave the bottle to Pete who commenced to get drunk and tried to escape and had one more year added to his sentence. All because in my zeal to help I actually hindered the work that the Lord was doing by not praying and asking the Lord for his guidance in the matter. The last I heard from Pete was a phone call from New Orleans wanting me to send him $300 to post bail for something. After praying for what to do the answer was a definite no. Since then I have helped numerous people whenever I could but I make sure that I ask the Lord what I should do before hand.
You might like my previous post Sad but True at this link.
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In Him, Mike