The words of Jesus almost take away the urgency to help, don’t they? In the moment, Jesus was teaching his disciples the difference between the temporal and the eternal, between the practical and the divine. We’ve taken his words out of context and used them to set ourselves free from taking the needs of the poor personally. Because helping people directly is messy and the line between showing mercy and creating dependency is so vague, we institutionalized helping the poor, writing checks so we can avoid being personally involved.
I’m changing that for myself and my family.
I want to change that for the guys I mentor.
So I’ve got to do something. I’ve got to model what I’m teaching. I’ve got to “smoke what I’m selling” as they say.
I’ve engaged with Warm Blankets Orphan Care (www.warmblankets.org), a ministry that rescues children from traffickers and garbage dumps and places them in Christ-centered orphan homes managed by pastors and local churches. The kids are parented by widows from their local community and the homes sustain themselves through micro-enterprise ventures overseen by Warm Blankets. It’s an awesome ministry.
As I prayed about a spending decision yesterday, I came to a new direction. For every dollar I spend on myself for things I want, I’m going to send a dollar to Warm Blankets. After all, the Bible says “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If I love myself enough to buy something I want that cost $200, couldn’t I choose to love my (poor or orphaned) neighbor to the tune of $200? Could this “dollar for dollar” thing harmonize with loving others just as much as I love me?
Imagine how the poor would be helped, how the world would be changed, how God would be glorified, if we stepped up to a “dollar for dollar” commitment to the poor.
Check this out. Craig Muller, the Founder of Warm Blankets, snapped this photo 30 minutes after these kids’ mom died, leaving them as orphans.
The poor will always be with us. True. But I’m not missing out on the chance Gods’ given me to help. I’m getting in on this deal.
Question: What will it take for American Christians to take the needs of “the least of these” personally? Shouldn’t this be second nature to Christ-followers? Why am I just waking up to this at 62 years of age?