Why should Christians help the less fortunate in their neighbourhood? After all, everybody is busy with work, family, and recreational activities. It’s summer as well and we all want to spend quality time with our children at the homes of relatives or at camp grounds. Apart from that, isn’t it the government’s responsibility to look after the needy?
Most folks are familiar with Christ’s parable of the good Samaritan. After a priest and a scribe walked on the other side of the road to Jericho in order to keep from being ceremonially contaminated by a robbery victim, a Samaritan not only bandaged the man’s wounds and took him to an inn but paid for his lodging. Nobody forced this “half breed” to help the man whose culture looked down upon his kind but he did it out of compassion. It was as remarkable in the first century as a Palestinian helping an Israeli mugging victim would be today.
Fewer people realize the eternal consequences of helping or not helping the less fortunate. In Matthew 25:31 -46, Jesus explained what would happen when he returned to judge the nations.
First, he will divide the righteous from the wicked. As Matthew recorded, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.’ Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?’ And the King shall answer and say unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.'”
Though I could be accused of having a vested interest for writing this, being that I’m almost blind, I believe that my busy friends are missing out on a blessing. In fact, there are many worthy persons who need help. Rural seniors have a difficult time travelling to dental and doctor appointments. These folks need rides to grocery stores as small town shops are closing due to lack of business. Single mothers can’t work to support themselves because they can’t afford to hire somebody to take care of their children. In many ways, Christians could easily be helping the Lord by helping others.
In my When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies) and Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School) memoirs, I recorded how friends helped me when I really needed it. From a pastor’s assistant moving my possessions 95 Km to another town, to a night nurse giving me a Kraft caramel when I was forced to stay at the school over the Easter holidays, I’ve been helped and encouraged greatly by sighted friends. More information on my books can be found on my www.inscribe.org/BruceAtchison page.
Please also check out my www.bruceatchison.blogspot.com post regarding “staycations.”