How Can We Help You?
The infamous words you here when you enter any charity, be it a church, a non-profit or even a place labeled as one that rehabilitates and restores, are "How can we help you?" But do most charities truly help, as Jesus did? or "The Good Samaritan?" (Luke 10:25-37) Let me ask you, when was the last time you needed help and had to go to a charity? Do you remember the process? Was the person taking your information warm, compassionate, offering unrelenting support and understanding? What was the aura of the place? Was it orderly, clean, and engaging? How long did you have to wait? Were there long lines, people skipping you, fighting? Were you told to come back, or were you accepted the same day? Was all of your needs met, or were you given half of what you asked for, and asked to go somewhere else? How were you treated overall, were you greeted with a smile, or just a number and another casualty? How was it really? I know the answers will vary but it is necessary to examine how people are treated during times of tragedy, grief and need. Were you really helped or were you left in want, and still worrying about how you would eat, or have a place to rest your weary head? Did you get the help you needed and then some? Were you taught how to sustain yourself even after your needs are met? Did someone pray with you and mean it? Did you feel the love of God from this encounter? Tell me.
The Act of Charity
The Bible says that "charity" or "love" is the greatest:
" If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
Charity is everything in every situation. The way we treat one another is like unto how we treat God. Sadly, so many people are mistreated by others in the name of charity. Yes, it is true. Let's talk about it because it has to stop. When someone is in the act of service, and they say the word, " How may I help you," you would expect them to be kind, patient and respectful, right? Well this is not always the case. Often times people in powerful positions abuse their power and don't think that there is room for improvement. Many are greeted with a cold aura, impatience, a prideful look, and judgement. WWJD, what would Jesus do? Surely anything less than our love, compassion, understanding and patience is not worthy to represent our Lord in service.
2 Corinthians 9:7 “so let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
The Ministry of Giving
To date, the world is filled with countless ministries, non-profits, and churches that offer solace, biblical teachings about salvation, redemption, compassion, support, and benevolence. The act of giving "alms" or "money or food given to poor people, is a great honor, and should not be taken lightly. It is indeed an honor to give to others as Christ our Lord gave His life for us and continues to give to us daily. Much like the scripture, "freely receive, freely give is taught, people on the other hand do quite the opposite. Many instead, freely give unto themselves. Where it be in praise for their work, praise for man, or the actual greasing of ones palms, a.k.a, a kickback. Many people encounter harsh treatment in the name of giving. Many are turned away by those who are in a position to help, and even judged because of their time of need. This has to stop! If we are going to be ministers and stewards of giving to the poor, we must have the mind of Christ. We must put aside all pride, scornfulness, judgement, and the need to be praised for one's work. We are not in competition with anyone. We must be mission minded and unrelenting in our work for the Lord.
The Act of Receiving
Believe it or not, receiving help from someone else requires much humility, and the realization that help is needed in order for life to return to a better state of living. In times of need, many people turn away help for many reasons such as having been hurt in the past by someone who pretended to care, pride, fear of being rejected, being put in the spotlight, shame, guilt, and not knowing who to ask, for many people are very reluctant to help these days. Many charities are also backed up with the overwhelming responsibility of helping a large sum of people. Receiving should be as natural as giving but just as giving has its controversial components and doesn't seem to be natural any more, receiving is equally a difficult pill to swallow. In fact, most people only ask for help when needed or in desperation, and sadly most don't ask for help. Consequently, when people are ignored, rejected, misread, misunderstood, neglected, and abused, they give up hope, choose to become vagrants, check out on life, (there spouses and families), and some sadly commit suicide. While, we know that we can't help everyone and every time, there must be ways we can improve in our giving, so that people will be more inclined ask for the help that they so desperately need.
Call To Action
"He said to His disciples, "The harvest is great, but the laborers are few." In this verse, Christ meant that there are a great multitude of people who need Him, his representation of love, kindness, compassion, the power to heal, redeem, and save from their sins. We are living in a dying world. The environment is toxic, the land, seas, and most of all the people. The world is headed for destruction. Simultaneously, places are experiencing unusual changes in weather, temperatures, changes in sea level, poor air quality, all because of poor representation by the species that God so lovingly placed on earth to care for it. (Genesis 2:15)
"The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it." ~ Gen. 2:15
It is hereby the responsibility of mankind to care for the world they live in, and treat all living things with dignity and respect; this is why giving to those in need is so close to the heart of God. The act of "Charity" is the greatest of all acts. We are known by our love, and must never, grow weary in doing good!
In The Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Chaplain Crystal E. Melville
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