Not only is November the month of Thanks, it is also…
American and National Diabetes Month
Lung Cancer Awareness Month
National Adoption Month
National Family Caregivers Month
And we know there are many more voices crying out for our awareness and our resources. What is a lone one another to do when the needs are so many and so overwhelming? The answer is two-fold and really quite simple.
First: Do Only What God Is Telling You To Do.
And guess what? God is telling each of us to do something…very specific somethings to assist and aid the very specific someones He brings along our way. That doesn’t mean He expects us to help with every person we know who has a need. What it does mean, when we are aware of a need we must ask God specifically…”Am I to help?” AND “How am I to help?” If the answer is “Yes” AND “Here’s how” then we must act upon what God is telling us to do.
Problems arise and needs go unmet because of two extremes.
A) We don’t ask God how we should respond to the need before us. So, we either dive in helter-skelter, trying all kinds of different ways to help and none of them are effective. Or we try to help everyone with everything, which of course, is impossible and we eventually burn out and so do the people we tried to assist. Or…worse yet… we do nothing for no one.
B) We do ask God, but we don’t like His answer. The results are the pretty much the same as point “A”.
Bottom line is…Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17
Second: Do Not Expect Others To Do Exactly What You Are Doing.
God is not obligated nor inclined to have everyone help the same people He tells you to help or in the same way He tells you to give that help. This means that the people you are helping are not more important than the people someone else is helping. It also means that the way you are helping is not “God-breathed.” In other words, the way in which you provide assistance to someone is not the only method or ultimate, best method.
So often we judge each other because we aren’t serving and meeting needs in the same way. Or worse yet, we make judgements that someone isn’t helping anyone, anywhere, or in anyway just because we can’t see them doing anything. Some people are called to do “behind the scenes”. Others are asked to do “more open.” Neither is wrong if done with God’s prompting and direction. And neither is better than the other if done in love and humbleness of spirit.
Here’s Jesus’ Take…And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.” Luke 21:1-3