When it comes to helping the needy, it is a given for Christians to display the act of giving without hesitating or judging. And yet, it should be a form of generosity that comes from the heart and not as an obligation. But there are certain scenarios that made me wonder about the act of helping and to what extent can we do it without judging others.
A Few Scenarios:
1. There are lots of scams and illegal activities.
How many of you have encountered this in your lifetime? An example is a letter requesting for monetary help sent to a particular bank account because a certain relative has a serious illness that requires a major operation, only to find out later on that they want to use the money on something else that’s illegal.
2. If it’s not illegal, it is to fulfill a splurge.
Have you ever experienced someone asking you for money to provide for his/her child tuition fee and yet you saw on the person’s Facebook account they bought new bags, a Starbucks coffee, and new gadgets that you, yourself, can’t afford? The danger here is not feeling the bitterness of sharing your hard-earned money with someone who splurged it on wants.
Related Post: Why Generosity Comes First
3. Help was given but it wasn’t enough.
Someone asked you for monetary help because of an emergency. Upon looking at your budget, you saw that you can only spare a couple of bucks. You still did give that small amount of money. A month later, you heard from someone that the person you just helped called you heartless for giving only a little amount when they know you can give more.
4. Giving money and food to a person on the street who was dissatisfied with what you’ve given.
And worse, when you gave him a penny, he answered back with an, “Only this? What can I buy with this?” Or when you gave your favorite bread, you saw it in the trash bin a couple of minutes later.
Give Without Expectation or Judging
The list can go on and on. But these scenarios I have provided actually made me realize about the real motive behind my act of giving and helping those who asked for help whether they really need it or not. Indeed, there have to be no expectations on our end. Give without expecting anything in return, so to speak. Not even a “thank you.” If we give with expectations of something in return, we will likely wind up disappointed. We should give because we want to help and only that.
Wisdom and Discernment in Giving
And yet, helping those in need must be accompanied by a great deal of wisdom and discernment on our part, because not all of the “needs” can actually help the person for good. An example is asking for financial assistance only to be used for an addiction like substance abuse.
At this point, the kind of help that we can give isn’t exactly what the person is asking for. But it has to be something deeper and greater than that, and that is pointing the person towards God. We cannot help the person if we tolerate sin, and tolerating sin is offensive to God. That will make us as an instrument for the person to sin more instead of being a helper towards his/her greater good.
We cannot judge the people who come to us for help. They may have varying needs, and yet this is the perfect moment to ask God in prayer for the Spirit’s leading. This is the part where we cannot rely on our judgment alone lest our weak human emotions be used by the enemy to his advantage. We can’t allow that to happen. There is a possibility we’ll make the wrong decision sometimes still, but if we have God’s wisdom to lead our judgment, we can be assured we are making one that will honor Him and genuinely help those who are in need.
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” – Hebrews 13:16