This is Contribute to the Needs of the Saints 2.0.
“Contributing…” 1.0 just got deleted. Here’s why.
I started to get long winded on the whole thing, and God was sort of like—there’s really not much to say about this one. Just do it.
I was going down this rabbit trail about our responses to being asked to meet a need. We’re very slow to inconvenience ourselves. We’re uncomfortable whenever someone asks us for money or time. We feel guilty and overwhelmed by the depth and breadth and width of ALL of the needs out there. We get tripped by the number and forget the one.
We can’t address every need. But we can address the one. And then the next one. And then the next one. And there are a lot of us. That’s a lot of “next ones” having needs met in the name of Jesus. Come on, guys. We know the starfish story. Cue cheesy music, pan to scene on long flat beach dotted with objects, zoom in on one tiny starfish, catch the tear falling from his eye…”It made a difference for THAT one”, she says. Cheese.
But true cheese, right?
If the need is dollars and we have dollars…do it.
If the need is time and we have time…do it.
If the need is food, clothes, a coffee date, encouragement, discipleship, prayer, friendship, love…do it.
If it’s a situation that needs to be fixed with money and we don’t have any extra dollars, then can we do something about it? Practically, no. Prayerfully, yes. Lift it up to God. Your prayers are still a contribution to the need of that saint.
If it’s a situation that needs to be fixed with time and we don’t have any extra time, then can we do something about it? Practically, no. Prayerfully, yes. Lift it up to God. Your prayers are still a contribution to the needs of that saint.
Bottom line: if we can do it, do it.
If we can’t, pray. And pray for provision of that need.
I want to live like this, you guys. This is super convicting. I’m going to close with a quote I read yesterday on the more broad scale of need from “The Case for Faith” by Lee Strobel:
“On my door there’s a cartoon of two turtles. One says, ‘Sometimes I’d like to ask why he [God] allows poverty, famine, and injustice when he could do something about it.’ The other turtle says, ‘I’m afraid God might ask me the same question.’”
People, both believers and non, have very practical needs. Don’t be quick to dismiss them, saying “Someone else will help with that.” Do everything that you can to be the one to meet the need. And if you absolutely cannot, then praaaaaaay for someone who will. We’re one body with many members and God will provide. Just make sure that you’re not overlooking yourself as the answer to that prayer because you don’t want to be inconvenienced or uncomfortable.
“Contribute to the needs of the saints.” (Romans 12:13a)
This is post #11 in Paul’s “Marks of a True Christian.” Am enjoying your feedback here and there through the series. Would love to hear of a time when someone met a very practical need of yours in the name of Jesus or just to be kind.