Are there certain people or specific situations in which you don’t think it’s your responsibility to help someone? Of course there are!
- If that person has gotten themselves into that situation repeatedly we’re only enabling them if we help
- If that person refuses to help get themselves out of that situation we can’t pull them out ourselves
- If that person has done something to deserve the situation they’re in we shouldn’t help them
I understand those reasons and I’ve thought them in the past. The question is are they Biblical ideas? Usually when I throw up these reasons not to help someone it’s because of my greed (why should I waste my money helping them if they’re not going to appreciate it/take advantage of the opportunity) and because of my dislike of being taken advantage of (all they’re doing is running a con. They’ve got plenty of money stowed away somewhere. I bet if I followed them home and saw the wad of cash they had collected today I’d pass out. They probably live better than I do. Why should I help them?)
The thing is we weren’t called to ferret out people’s intentions. We were called to serve.
In John 13 Jesus washes the disciple’s feet. He did that so they would learn that they needed to serve each other (John 13.14). He didn’t call us to do nice things for people. He called us to be servants. There is a difference!
How do you decide whether to help someone?
- If I’ve got enough money to help I will
- If the person hasn’t burned me in the past I’ll help
- If I’m not too busy to stop I’ll help
Who does that sound like? That sounds like a person who has a choice to help someone you perceive to be in need. Jesus made that choice for me on that night 2,000 years ago when He took up the towel and started washing the disciple’s feet! We are servants now. We should help because people need our help. Don’t waste your time trying to vet whether their needs are true or not. Just help.
Right now, you’re probably thinking, “What about being a good steward of God’s money?” When I look at Scripture the overwhelming definition of a good steward is someone who shares what they have. This list is certainly not complete, but it gives you a pretty good overview of what the Bible says about being a good steward. Read thru these verses and find the one that says I need to do a quick background check on someone before I help them. I’ll make it even easier. Try to find the verse that says you need to be smart with your generosity.
Be a good steward. Help people. Don’t waste your time trying to vet whether they’re worthy. They’re not, but neither are you. Before you flip back to facebook go back to the first bulleted list, the people it’s not your responsibility to help. Put God in your position as the one who helps and place yourself in the position of the one needing help. You used to have a sin problem. Was it His responsibility to help you? I don’t know about you, but I fit squarely in the “Don’t Help Him” category I’ve placed others in.
Be careful you don’t place other people in a category you happily accepted reprieve from the Father out of.