I Don’t Have To Help Them!

The Bible references the poor about 2,000 times1, most often in the form of God’s command for us to help them. Indeed, Jesus said in the synagogue upon the inauguration of his earthly ministry that he has been anointed by God to proclaim the good news to the poor (Luke 4:18). I would say this is a pretty strong mandate. We could argue what constitutes “help”, but the point is that all of us are so commanded, which means we should all have this mandate at the top of our list of priorities as we go about our day.

I have heard some refer to the non-biblical quote that “God helps those who help themselves”2, to argue against compliance to this command, but I would counter that Christ came specifically for the helpless (see Romans 5:6, Proverbs 31:8-9, et al), and we, according to C.S. Lewis, are to be “little Christs”.

Whether it be volunteering or donating at a soup kitchen, food pantry or to assist in vocational or life skills training, there are certainly plenty of opportunities to serve – and don’t underestimate the power of offering encouragement. Try asking yourself daily, “How can I help someone less fortunate than me today?”

Thanks for reading, please comment below.

  1. https://sojo.net/sites/default/files/2000verses.pdf
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_helps_those_who_help_themselves

2 thoughts on “I Don’t Have To Help Them!

  1. showing others how to help themselves is invaluable. Those assisted will likely pay it forward, and so the good continues


    1. Thanks for the reply!

      I agree that the best way to help someone is to teach them to become more independent. In fact, in some cases, charitable organizations do unintentional harm to micro-economies by dumping food and other goods without addressing the impact on local providers (there’s an interesting documentary called “Poverty Inc.” that talks about this). The point of the post above is that we should not let our judgements about someone’s ability to help themselves stop us from doing whatever we can for them, no matter how small. God knows that we are all helpless and hopeless sinners underserving of His free gift of grace, but He gives it anyway – we are commanded to extend the same to the extent we can.

      Thanks again!


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