There is a young man that is a paid administrator, writer, and reporter for a Razorback internet board that I subscribe to. He really does a good job in keeping people informed about recruiting, team practices, and the news concerning Razorback sports. In fact, if the truth were told, he is probably the only reason I still subscribe to this board.
A couple of days ago, he wrote a piece about an experience that he had — that left him completely disgusted. He related that several weeks ago, a man approached him at a local lumber yard. The man told him that he was in Northwest Arkansas working, and asked for money to get home to a neighboring state, because his wife had died. He reported that he doesn’t carry cash, and went home feeling guilty that he was not able to help this man. He said that he felt so bad about it, that he told his wife that he was going to start carrying a few dollars, where he would be able to help those that really needed it.
He wrote this piece several weeks after this happened, and you could just sense the indignation in the words he was writing. He had just come home from Wal-Mart, and the same guy, with the same story, and the same request had approached him. You could tell that he was livid, and was incensed that people would do things like that.
What followed was a series of comments from the members of the board, relating similar stories. Most of them were from the state of Arkansas, but there were examples of this from all over the country. Nearly all expressed disgust at those who approached strangers asking for help (particularly money).
The problem is that God’s people are expected to be generous and caring about those who are in need. Those that take advantage of peopl’s generosity, make it difficult to do what he are supposed to do. Observe carefully what the psalmist has to say:
Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
the Lord delivers them in time of trouble.
The Lord protects and preserves them —
they are counted among the blessed in the land —
he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
and restores them from their bed of illness. (Psalm 41:1-3)
Just look at the blessings that are promised in this beatitude from the psalms for those that have “regard” for the “weak”. None of us like to be taken advantage of, but I want to manifest the spirit of Jesus in all the situations of life. Somehow, we have to be caring and generous — and if there are those that advantage of it, that is between them and God.
There are lots of innovative ways to help people in need, even without giving them money. Find a way to help that you are comfortable with, and don’t allow the sinful actions of a few, KEEP YOU from being what God wants you to be. Peace.
(This devotional was first posted on Facebook, June 2, 2016. It is being reposted here as a part of our “Psalms on Saturday.” It just happened to be the next one in the series, but it was very applicable to me this week. Early this week I had a phone call from a lady, and the first thing that she told me was that she had been at “our” church” this past Sunday. That she was new to the community, her husband had left her, and she was needing some assistance. I told here that our attendance was pretty low this past Sunday, and that we only had 55 in the Sunday services. She said that she was the one sitting on the back row with the three young children. I knew then that if she had been in church the past Sunday, it was somewhere else and not here. I explained to her that we participated with Life Ministries, and that she could visit with them. She told me that she had already done that, and that they were considering her situation. After the conversation was over, and we had hung up; my thoughts were what if I had refused to help someone that really needed it. Did their “lying” to me mean that they didn’t need help. I wondered if she had the three children, and if they had what they needed. So this “Psalm for Saturday” really struck home to me. I hope that it is a blessing for you today. Bill)