Knowing when to Help

On Saturday as part of this ministry, I provided free wedding photography for two of God’s children. Serving the Lord using my skills and talents, I was glad to help document an extraordinary event that took place among an ordinary Florida park. (See pictorial at ChristianPhotographer.com)

While I was shooting photographs at Picnic Island Park under a blistering Florida sun, my wife Elizabeth was running errands with our 20 month old toddler Grace. In a mall parking lot, she was approached by a Christian rapper calling himself MC Truth who solicited her trying to sell her a music CD for five dollars. Needless to say Liz was thrown off by the intrusion and in panic, handed the fellow a buck and promptly carried on.

One would look at both acts as examples of service for the Lord however, I do not.

What troubles me about MC Truth is his approach. Further more, his attempt at selling a rap CD to a woman loading her toddler a minivan in an obvious vulnerable position. I would not feel the same had he been asking for water or food however, he was asking for money in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

When sharing the details of the encounter with me, Elizabeth shared scripture explaining why she gave him money: “What you do for the least of my people, you do for me.”

I believe the exact scripture is from the book of Matthew: “And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42)

Though Liz was right on with her interpretation of God’s word, I believe she was mistaken in it’s use since she clearly did not give out money willingly but rather “for him to go away”. Acts such as these bear no fruit with the Lord and have the potential to feed a nasty habit. It is likely our rapper will continue to prey on women rather than use a more conducive platform to promote his music.

One would debate Elizabeth’s act of generosity was indeed seen by God and will be rewarded in heaven just as all other God pleasing deeds. After all, we are commanded to be generous to one another but not expect anything in return. The bible reads “Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1)

I researched the word and found no scripture involving mothers and their children giving out money to beggars. Though I found many acts of generosity, most of them did not feature vulnerable women putting their babies at risk. I did however find numerous verses pertaining to fruit bearing from godly trees: “You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit.” (Matthew 7:16)

Am I saying we should not help our neighbors? No, I am not. What I am saying is we should help anyone and everyone we can when we can. The bible is clear on this issue: “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10)

The word opportunity is defined as “a combination of favorable circumstances or situations”. Elizabeth alone with a child in a parking lot hidden behind a large minivan is not a favorable situation. More conducive circumstances include a church lobby, a flea market or even Ebay.

 

It is important I clearly share another important scripture which commands all of us to help those in need if we can. “Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it” –when you have it with you.” (Proverbs 3:28) again, remember the word includes the word “when” which dictates you should be wise to look to the holy spirit for a green light when in doubt.

I invite you to go out this week and help all those you can. Don’t take a step back and think you’re not important enough to make a difference in someone else’s life. We are all on a mission from God however small. Be humble in your serving the Lord through others for He is always watching and keeping score. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if any one thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” (Galatians 6:2)

Be generous, be courteous but most importantly, be wise. Do not put yourself or your loved ones at risk to help someone driven by evil motives. Remember a beggar with a sword is not a beggar, he’s a thief!

Let’s pray!

Father God;
We thank you for all that surrounds us and for your love.
We pray you will put the right people across our life’s path
Equip us with wisdom through the holy spirit
As you keep guiding our footsteps as only you can.

Lord we pray you will give us strength to life righteous lives
And that you will allow us to inspire others to do the same
Together fulfilling our mission to serve you.

God we thank you for your forgiving our sins
And those of our friends and families
And ask that you answer prayers of those who seek you.

Thank you all mighty God for all that you’ve given us!

Praise God,
Amen!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: DanielStPierre@ThriveThroughChrist.com

Posted in Bible Studies.