One of the works of the church is benevolence. In general this is helping those who are in need. The following article brings out a side of this work that many may not consider. We are to help those in need as we have opportunity. The article addresses the question of WHEN SHOULD I HELP?
WHEN SHOULD I HELP? By Steve Higginbotham
Many people, especially preachers, are often approached by strangers asking for help. It may be money that they are wanting, a night’s lodging, food, gasoline, or bills paid (including cell phone and TV cable bills). Often times, people “make a living” traveling from church to church with a sad story that always ends with a request for help. So frequent are such encounters, it’s sometimes difficult not to be cynical when someone comes by and requests help. So what should you do? Should you help them? My answer is a definite “Yes!” — But read on.
Help does not mean that they receive the thing for which they have asked. Is one really helping a person by allowing them to evade personal responsibility? Of course not. Is one really helping a person when he enables him to continue to get by being lazy and refusing to work? Surely not. The apostle Paul once said that if a man will not work neither should he eat. In other words, if one will not work, let him go hungry. Sometimes, “helping” a person means making them face the consequences of their irresponsibility.
The challenge on our part is to avoid cynicism, to develop a heart of compassion, and wisdom to know how to truly help those who seek our assistance.
Should we help someone who is asking for help? Always! Does that mean we must grant every request for help in the way that it is made? Of course not.