More and more, when we go to visit people or contact people, we are met with “what’s in it for me.” This attitude stops our friends from wanting to deal with people, especially people in need. “What can I do for you,” is dead in so many places.
Once, while working in a very, very bad place, a crippled fellow came to me and asked me “What can I do for you?” I laughed because I was dirty from sleeping on the streets so I could get to know people. His name was Umpong, and I lamented the fact that I had no coffee. “Cream and sugar,” he asked. I told him yes and he went off, hobbling on one bad leg and using his one good arm to hold out to passers by. He collected some money from those willing to donate to a crippled beggar and then he took the money and bought me a cup of coffee. Is that it? Is that the solution? A president once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.” Of course, that is the basis for Matthew 25:31-46. God is going to ask us, what we did for others.
It is going to rain, there are going to be disasters, pain and trouble, but what did we do for others?
Unfortunately, we are often faced with the problem of giving. Yes, that can be a problem whe God tells us to be careful and to give when He tells us to give. Often, it ends up in the hands of the greedy but there is nothing we can do but seek God and give where He tells us.
Today we are faced with this problem in several countries. We have donations and want to give but need information. Every time we are met with “What’s in it for me,” or “I am poor and cannot without a substantial donation first.” Then we watch the door slowly close. People often talk of their pain and trouble in trying to help us and that also closes the door.” “Do everything as if you were doing it for Jesus …” This is no longer important to so many but it is the key to God’s Kingdom, giving.
If we just had big money, then we could do so many things for so many people but, look. There, the banks fail because of greed. The missions close because they have big buildings and so many needs. “We must have a million dollars or our million, million dollar operation will end.” I have heard this so many times and have gone to so many churches that just can’t pay for their luxurious buildings and programs and then…
Then there is Umpong who brought me coffee. He never did attend classes to learn business. We offered but… He never did accept a house and place to stay with a laundry and kitchen. He was satisfied just living and meeting the simplest needs of others on his simple little street in the middle of Hell. I don’t know what happened to him but you know, When I was thirsty, he met my need without greed.
I have a young girl in need, surrounded and encased by greed. Everyone I speak to wants money first. She cannot speak English and I cannot find anyone to get her to the internet, translate for her and help her learn to care for herself and maybe… maybe she will have a heart to give and help others.
A friend was on a river in China. There were many fishermen and one was hit and knocked unconscious, into the river. My friend could not get to him because of the other boats and shouted for help. He was met with many asking “How much will you pay me to help him?” Unfortunately the man drown and people just continued to do their own thing. A true story and a heart breaker as well. If we cannot find those around Ruth who are willing to help her, we will watch her suffer and … I don’t know … I don’t know what God will do but the hands are out. “Bless me, bless me, help me, then maybe I will help others.” That’s all I hear in Church, the news and conversations around the world.
Look, we can feed the poor, take in all the strangers and clothe those who want to be clothed. We can visit everyone in the hospital and prison if the Pastor would just start and end every thought with “Are you obeying Christs commandment in Matthew 25:31-46? Instead, it is a plea for money to continue ministry that spends a very small fraction, sometimes to obey God.
Jesus indebted himself. He said He needed to die for others. Suicide? Insanity? His mother and brothers thought so. They tried to have him arrested. Would you go in debt to help someone you never met and do not know? I will. Perhaps you need money for your… sigh…
I rarely see Umpong or his friends any more. Begging to help others? I am begging now. I am asking you to sell all you have, give the money to the poor and change the world. sigh…. can you hear me now?