Close Fisted or Open-Handed!
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
– Ephesians 4:32
As we finish up over three months of Meet A Need, let me say thank you to all of the faithful volunteers and givers that provided so much food that we were able to help over 1,300 families!
Many of the individuals and families we helped stand out. One family has a daughter with Spinal Bifida, another lost her job at a restaurant, another at a hotel, and so many had their hours cut back due to slow business, or job loss. From working at “Meet A Need,” these were some of the families who needed help the most. As with anything, opinions vary on how to help people and who should get help. I can understand the different opinions that are presented and also see how that person came up with that decision. As I began thinking about those differences, this question came to mind. Are we not all guilty of making a negative decision, and if we need help, wouldn’t we just love for someone to help us?
None of us desire to hear someone say, “Well, you brought this on yourself.” Or, “Well, if you had made better choices you wouldn’t be in this situation.” Our choices do affect others. Look at Adam & Eve’s choice and how it affected us all. If life was perfect and we had no turmoil in our life, I wonder how we would show the love of Christ in such a tangible way? We can choose to be close-fisted or openhanded. We need to use these difficult times to minister to others and show the grace and mercy that we have been given through Christ.
When Jesus saw the blind men, for example, He “had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him” (Matthew 20:34).
When He saw groups yearning for his teaching, “he had compassion on them and healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14). Christ noted the confusion of the people in the crowd following him, and “had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34).
All these examples of Christ’s compassion have two things in common. First, Jesus notices the people around Him. This tells us that compassion is only possible when we are focused on others. If we’re focused on our own feelings, problems, and worries, we will overlook the needs of those God puts in our path and ignore the opportunity to help them.
Second, Jesus responds to people, instead of reacting to them. He listens to the ten lepers rather than being irritated that they’re interrupting his conversation (Luke 17:12-19). He takes time to speak with the woman who touches the hem of his garment, instead of simply ignoring her. (Matthew 9:20). Are you noticing others in need? If so, how are you responding to them?
Pray: Lord, help me to see others through Your eyes. Help me to show compassion to those I come in contact with daily and put others first. Help me to be a light and invest in others to make a difference. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
First Baptist Broken Arrow