This morning something happened that got me thinking! I was doing my Bible reading when the doorbell rang. It was 7-17am. I was still in my pajamas (of course!). The person rang the doorbell again. My bedroom overlooks the driveway and the doorbell. There was a gap in the curtain, so I got out of bed to see if perhaps it was our workers arriving early. Nope, there was no car in the road or the driveway. As I looked through the gap in the curtain, I saw a man standing on the road and another at the doorbell. He rang it again. This was now annoying! I went to the internal phone that communicates with the front gate and said, “hello” but the person didn’t answer. While I had the phone in my hand, he rang again! That was really irritating. I opened the balcony door and the man on the street told the guy at the gate where I was. I look down and it was one of Mike’s ‘regular’ visitors who come when they need something. I told him I couldn’t help him and he buoyantly and happily walked off with his companion.
What was that all about? What should my response have been? I felt guilty for not helping someone who asks, but at the same time, wisdom is needed as to the motive of the men who approached the house at 7-17am. Was he persistent in his ringing because he wanted to find out if anyone was home? Was one left on the street to keep an eye out for someone coming?
Unsettled, I went back to my Bible reading to have this as part of it…
Isaiah 32:7 says,
“The scoundrel’s methods are wicked, he makes up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just.”
The devil loves to make us feel guilty. The Bible is laden with verses that promote helping the poor and needy. Yes, we must do that. But we live in a society that is, let’s just say it as it is, crime-ridden. While there is crime & mischief the world over, we in South Africa have high levels of unemployment, which drives up criminal activity. I continued with my Bible reading and read Galatians 5:1
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.”
Good deeds are not going to get us to heaven, but we cannot ignore the plight of the poor. We need to do what the Bible says and help the poor but we need to be wise when it comes to our personal safety. We do the best that we can at the time. I know for sure, God does not want me living in a haze of guilt over the desire I have to protect myself against danger. The devil, on the other hand, would love for me to live in a guilt-laden cage. I need to find the balance. Galatians 5:6b
“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”
One way we can formally support the poor is to give to an organisation that has a ministry to the poor. Cape Town’s Living Hope is one such organisation. By financially supporting them, you are supporting a number of ministries to the less fortunate. Visit them at www.livinghope.co.za to learn how to donate.
That’s my formal support of the poor. Informally, we help where we can, but giving money at traffic lights and to beggars on the street is probably not the wisest way to help them. We do give food to those who come to the door. Sometimes, Mike will pay them to wash his car. But we have to be careful. After this morning’s little episode, I was left thinking. This well-dressed youngster that Mike has helped multiple times may have been after a handout, or he may have been ‘casing the joint’ – just checking to see if anyone was home with an ulterior motive in mind. I just can’t be sure. “The poor you will have with you always.” – Words of Jesus in Matthew 26:11. This problem won’t be going away here, there or anywhere. We may as well adjust, support a ministry that helps the poor and evaluate any other need or opportunity based on the wisdom God gives you. We do the best we can at the time.
Keep the smile going.
God bless you!
In His Grip,
Gratitude Pic….today I will reap another strawberry ‘harvest’….last time it was two – ha! We are growing…