I visit many Christians encouraging love and good works. That’s our job. I show we should love and help people. Everyone agrees which I find enigmatic. If this were statistically true Christians would way outnumber those in need and we would be colliding in activity amongst the poor. By the way there are 224 million professing Christian in the United States and 220,000 churches.
In my community and the one I came from, I never had to fight over people in need, Pastors and Christians sent them to me. So why isn’t the agreement I find in conversation translated into action? There are two main errant theological perspectives that hinder action. The copouts are ”Not my ministry.” and “I would if Jesus called me to.”
“Not my ministry” assumes if you do not “feel it in your heart” you do not have to do it. Have you heard “I have a heart for them.” or “I don’t have a heart for them.”? This translates to, “If I don’t feel it, it isn’t my duty.” right? Or if you do not feel you can do it or are feel you are not gifted you shouldn’t do that particular thing. So it goes to reason, if you are not gifted in evangelism you aren’t required to evangelize or if you’re not divinely equipped for giving you do not have to give. “I am not gifted in the spiritual gift of helps therefore you can count me out.” I glad my mother was gifted at changing diapers, I’d have been in a real mess.
“I would if Jesus called me to.” says “I’m surrendered in my heart.” and Jesus knows “He knows my heart.” “He hasn’t told me to do such-and-such.” so I won’t. They won’t do a particular task and at times feel they shouldn’t. They are certain, if Jesus came down and sat with them and told them to do such-and-such they would. If He were to make a special appointment, they would know its importance and act. Or so they believe.
How does the command to love fit. Do we love if will feel He is calling us to by special appointment? Do we love when we feel a sensation of love in our heart? If we are to act in love will I have to be uniquely; divinely gifted? We know love is a command. We know if someone needs help, money, encouragement, food or a home; love reaches out.
If it is not my ministry to do such-and-such wouldn’t the love of Christ compel us nonetheless? All give but some are gifted, all help but some do it with divine gifting, all evangelize but some see more results, do you see what I mean? Because you do not have a particular spiritual gift doesn’t exempt you from helping, giving and evangelizing.
Jesus has called us to love. He has commanded us through the Word to act on behalf of those in need. Jesus gave us his example and so did the early church. Does he have to command us in person for us to act. Or have we followed an industrial model? I make widget B and you make widget C. Are we afraid a cosmic union boss will scold us if we help widget C guy?
In particular, from the perspective of the needy, the one in need doesn’t care if you have the most or are the best, he just needs help. Yes, it is preferable to have a great evangelist but sometimes all they get is us. Are we going shut up and wait for the evangelist or do our best? So you’ll help someone if you feel it, or Jesus comes and talks to you, or you have a great gift. But otherwise you wait with hands raised in hope for a heavenly flame.
How about be a company man. I’ve worked with guys who are always where the work is. They work and when done with their task, help others in their work. When out of work they find something productive to do. They do not wait for a special call from the boss. They already know his will and are about his work. They know the boss’ priorities and objectives.
There are other employees who do their work and when finished wait for the next assignment. If they find something to do it isn’t always in line with the boss’ will. One works as if he is vested in the business thus like a son or daughter and the other is a hired hand.
Are you a hired hand or a son/daughter?