A few weeks ago I was reading a book that talked about many things, among them the importance of helping those in need.
After reading about the topic, I began to reflect on how I was not, in fact, actively answering this call in my life. After all, Christ left an example of this in His own life, an example that we should mirror.
It is curious to note how often we come across this subject—in the Bible, in the Testimonies, in sermons—and many times we believe that we aren’t trained or equipped to help others. We create barriers out of our own financial situation, or who knows, maybe we focus so much on our problems that we become incapable of noticing others in need and their difficulties.
So, I decided to study this topic and understand it better, and I want to share with you the tips I found.
Understanding this mission in light of the Bible and Testimonies
First, let’s understand the importance of the topic and why each person should help.
- “Care about them as much as you care about yourselves” (Philippians 2:4)
- “Poor persons will never disappear from the earth. That’s why I’m giving you this command: you must open your hand generously to your fellow Israelites, to the needy among you, and to the poor who live with you in your land.” (Deuteronomy 15:11)
- “Give, and it will be given to you. A good portion—packed down, firmly shaken, and overflowing—will fall into your lap. The portion you give will determine the portion you receive in return.” (Luke 6:38)
- “So then, let’s work for the good of all whenever we have an opportunity, and especially for those in the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10).
- “Our love for God is to be expressed in doing good to the needy and suffering of the household of faith whose necessities come to our knowledge and require our care. Every soul is under special obligation to God to notice His worthy poor with particular compassion. Under no consideration are these to be passed by.” Testimonies vol. 6, p. 271.
Here we notice that all Christians have a mission to help those in need, especially those of the same faith, and that God promises blessings to those who do kindly to others. (What a wonderful God! ????)
Ways to help…
1 – Supply basic needs
Become aware of the families in need in your church and/or community. See what their situations are in terms of food, clothing, housing.
We are not always able to donate a full basic needs kit, or help pay the rent or a bill. But we can mobilize other people to join us and to contribute together. This way the blessing will be even greater! In addition to being able to supply the needs, it will give the chance for others to be involved and help as well.
It’s also possible to help in other ways. Whether it’s by baking a loaf of bread, donating your clothes, or perhaps inviting someone to a meal at your home. No matter how small the aid, if everyone helps it will be possible to change the reality and improve the condition of those in need.
2 – Offer opportunities/Encourage
Often, people have a difficult time knowing where to look for opportunities or navigating resources available to them, and up constantly relying on others for help. However, it is possible to change this reality by encouraging this person or family, to find ways to support themselves or go after a job opportunity.
Encourage and help them to:
- Learn some manual labor that can be commercialized and initially provide the means for them to be able to live better;
- Learn a trade;
- Enroll in a technical course.
3 – Offer love
Be genuinely concerned with those you are helping. Take the time to visit them and speak words of encouragement and comfort. Listen to their pain, care, and really be like Christ.
We often shut ourselves in our friend groups or our own life, and we forget the importance of a smile, a hug, and genuinely listening to those who are suffering.
Try to be closer to those in need. As much as this isn’t, in fact, a physical aid, you can touch their hearts and open the doors for a sincere friendship through which you will be able to better understand what they are facing and seek to help more closely.
4 – Help with tasks
Take the time to help in a more practical way. Help clean the house or yard, or if the family has children, be willing to take care of them while the parents run errands.
If you are not able to help financially, this may be a good option to help a family in need!
Finally, helping those in need goes far beyond donating clothing and food: it means caring, providing, helping, and seeking to transform the reality of these individuals. I am sure that if you feel the desire to help someone, God will provide the means, and in the end, you will find that by helping others, you will also be helped!
I want to leave you with one last verse that serves as a reminder of the real purpose behind the mission to help other: “In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16).
May this always be our mission: help others in order to bring attention to Jesus.
Have you ever felt like helping someone and didn’t know how? What are some ways you’ve found to help others? Leave your comment below so we can share our experiences and create a chain of good. ????