His friends heard of his new home and, like a troop of vultures, congregated in my living room, chasing away all my friends. He invited Depression and Tears to be his all too frequent guests. Hunger became his constant sidekick while Lack and Need acted as his devoted followers. Deprivation became a thorn in my side.
They all loved to laugh at me.
Have you ever felt like this? Have you ever had lack thrust upon you? Or have you ever overspent and gotten yourself into a mess? Has your job been threatened or lost?
As the economy has taken a nosedive, causing many to face unemployment, the chance of lack knocking on more doors has become increasingly feasible.
So, if job loss comes knocking on the door of one of our friends or neighbors, what do we do?
How do we, as Christians, treat that one whose life has been depleted of home, car, or other belongings? Are we supportive and encouraging? Are we sensitive to their feelings? Do we offer a helping hand? Or are we negative in our responses, ignoring them as if they were contagious?
Paul said, “Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another.” (Rom. 13:8a Amp) If God is love, what is the essence of His love? Giving! So, if our hearts are filled with the love of God, we will desire to supply the needs of others, to imitate Him, in whatever way we can.
Giving brings a reward.
Solomon wrote, “He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will reward him for what he has done.” (Prov. 19:17 NIV)
When Jesus instructed the multitude on the mount, He said, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38 NKJV) This scripture is not restricted to money; it encompasses all of life. In whatever way you give, it will come back to bless you. However, we do not give to get.
What can you do to help someone experiencing financial difficulties? If you cannot afford a monetary gift, why not give the gift of your time? Here are a few suggestions…
* Leave groceries on a widow’s doorstep.
* Pay for an elderly person’s medicine at the drugstore.
* Baby-sit for the couple who are working multiple jobs.
* Pay for the gas of one whose car is held together with bumper stickers.
* Make a mortgage or rent payment for a struggling, single mother or father.
* Buy Christmas presents for a battered wife and her children living in a shelter.
* Write a note or letter of encouragement and tell them you’ll be praying for them.
* When you are shopping at the mall, pay for the shoes of a teenager of a different race.
* Buy gift certificates or pre-paid credit cards and give them to whomever the Spirit leads.
* Pay for the meal of those in the car behind you in a drive-through restaurant and maybe put a note with it.
* The next time you are in line at the grocery, pay the bill for the woman with a baby on her hip and food stamps in her hand.
* Use your imagination. Better still, listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit; He will tell you who needs a word of encouragement or gift.
What else can you do to help others? If you have any suggestions of things you have done or of thoughts you might have, please share them.
~Lord, may I not hinder meeting the need of anyone by mismanaging the funds you allow in my life. Nudge me however sharply is necessary to get my attention that I might do what I can to help someone in need. As I give out, replenish my lack that I might supply others’ needs once again. Amen~