Here in America, we pride ourselves on how much we give to others. We are always going to other countries, who are “less fortunate” than we are, and providing our food services or lending a helping hand. We like to call it “playing big brother.” America is great for flying across the globe to feed someone or to provide resources to those who cannot go out and buy these necessities but what about the people in our own backyard?
I AM NOT, in any way, saying that we should not give to other countries but I am saying that if you want to change the world, you must start with yourself. I always hear people say that “your ministry FIRST STARTS at home.” If we, as Americans, changed our way of thinking and lived by that motto, things will be much better in America.
It is so hard for us (as a whole) to go and give to the shelters in OUR cities or even to volunteer at the soup kitchens around town; but without hesitation, if there was a charity asking for a dollar to help another country out, we would scrape our pockets to find a dollar to give and believe that we have just done an amazing thing. Giving is amazing but picking and choosing your favorites….I don’t know about that!
Giving, in general, is a God ordained thing. The Following scriptures from The Bible explains this better:
2 Corinthians 9:7 – Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Acts 20:35 – I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Deuteronomy 16:17– Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.
James 2:15-16 -If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
In NONE of these scripture verses do you find the following:
- don’t give to the homeless man who you may suspect to be a drug addict
- don’t give to the people who have food stamps
- don’t give to students, they’re in school for a reason
- don’t give to the person who is always on the corner begging
- don’t feed the person who is asking for food but doesn’t look hungry
A lot of us use the above excuses to NOT give to people. I do understand that there are con-artist out here that make millions begging for money. I also know that some people who beg for change are asking you to support their “habits” and to that I will say to follow the discernment given by the Lord when deciding to give.
Giving doesn’t always mean giving cash or giving to people living on the streets but giving could be simply assisting a family with groceries, carrying heavy loads for people who seem to be struggling, giving someone a ride in the rain, or even praying for someone who seems down. Give your time, give your hands, give your ears, give your services, and give your love.
If you do give to other countries don’t stop! Please continue because a lot of places do have less than America does but don’t forget about the people you pass by every week. Let’s start creating programs to support the homeless and those that are in poverty in our own communities. A lot of people are homeless or impoverished because of Institutionalized Oppression and NOT just because of their own doing. The next time you decide not to give because someone put it in your head that is it that persons fault that they are that way, think twice and remember the system that we live in.
I know there are untrustworthy individuals in our world but have you ever thought about why they are that way?
“People, like plants, grow where the light is. When you enclose a plant and limit its light source, it will bend itself toward the light, for the light is necessary for its survival. This same thing happens to people locked in communities where little light and little opportunity is allowed them, survival then forces them to twist and/or bend toward the only way of escape.” -Lauryn Hill
Pray for con-artists, and pray for drug addicts. You never know, the day you give to them and share a word of encouragement may be the day that they decide to turn their life around.
Stay blessed everyone!