SP Premium


What is Charity, And Who Should We Help?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

This is just about something I have been contemplating for a long time... What is charity, and who should we help... My thoughts repeatedly lead me to these verses in Matthew...

Matthew 25:35-40
English Standard Version (ESV)

35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’
37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

When we think of helping others, (for charity), we often think of the poor, or those who are in need financially. Is money the only thing that we need to give in order to help others? Who should we help? Who is it that needs help? How often tho, do we think of helping those who may appear outwardly, to be better off than us? Should we help those better of financially than us? Think about it... in the above verses... does it say single out only the poor to help?

I say... it does not! I say, it tells us to care for (love) any who are in need. Well... who else but people that are without wealth, would need anyone's help you may ask? Well... first you need to realize, that not all needs are based on money. Some needs may be physical or mental needs. What about the sharing of our time?

Consider these situations...

- A lonely person (any age), with no family. They may have enough money to be comfortable, and live in a nice home, but that does not buy them friends, or company to keep them from feeling the pain of being alone. We can offer them help, by visiting them occasionally, and offering them friendship, and maybe try inviting them to join you in an activity.

- A person who recently is divorced, and is struggling to make sense of what has happened in their life. We can listen to them, as they talk about how they feel over this change in their life.

- A person has recently become widowed, or has lost a child to illness or an accident. We can be a shoulder for them to cry on, and offer them the comfort of our company.

-A person who is from a different country or region, who is either visiting or has recently moved to live in your town / city. They often do not know anyone, and do not know the area they now live in. We can offer them friendship, and help them get to know the community. We can include them in activities, so that they can meet new people, and get to know what resources are available in the community.

-A person is struggling with their faith. It can be for any reason... They may have had a brush with the law, and be in prison, or they may feel they are on the brink of doing something desperate. In order to make sense of what they are going through, they may seek God. We can help them, by being there and helping them seek the answers from God, by guiding them through passages in the Bible.

-A neighbour may have lost their pet. We can help them look for the pet.

-A persons car may have broken down in the middle of the road. We can offer to phone a tow truck for them, or offer them some water or coffee to drink, or just stay with them, while they wait for someone to come collect them and their car.

In each of these cases, we are not giving the people our money. Instead, we are asked to share our time. Remember the verses above? Remember where it said... "I was a stranger, and you welcomed me", "I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’"... How often we seem to forget that part of those verses...

So... In those words quoted, we see that charity involves more than just money. It involves time. And our time is something most people can appreciate, and may need... both those who are poor regarding money, as well as those who have an abundance of money.

Thus... we should consider helping all people... Because while some may have money, they may be poor in other ways... such as faith, strength, courage, or friendship... things that involve time... And after all... Time is the most precious thing we can share with anyone...

Think about it...

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD12976873
    This made me think. All this is so true. I remember my dad and mom reading this passage from the bible when I was young and I kept it with me now I'm married and as an adult. Thanks for putting this out there!
    3170 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8557947
    You are so right about the spirit of giving. I don't have a lot of money but I like to talk to people when I can. Sometimes when I know someone is in need I try to help out with what little things I can. I also try to cheer people up with cards that I make either on the computer or from hand. I have a genuine love for people and try to get to know others here in my building and just be supportive. I have some anxiety and that makes sometimes reaching out difficult but I still try to do it as much as possible. Also, I am sick a lot so I try to reach out to friends on the computer and on the phone and be as nice as possible to people when going to my doctor's appointments. Sometimes, just a positive attitude is contributing to the welfare of others in such a difficult world at times. Sending you love and thanks! Peace be with you!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3282 days ago
    MI-ELLKAYBEE Sometimes just a kind word or a smile will do. That is why I say... charity or giving, does not always need to involve money... Sometimes it just needs to be letting others know you care. And we do not have to journey to distant areas in order to help others. We can help those who are in our community. The point is, to show we care.

    Before you say I could not know what it is like... Just know... I am on a very limited pension for various disabilities. I may not have a wealth of money, or a strong body, but my spirit and desire to help, can still make a difference in someone's life.
    3283 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/16/2012 5:13:55 PM
    Your ideas are so gracious and kind. But it is truly hard to give - when you don't have enough money for gas to drive to a site where your help is needed - when you don't have enough to eat - when all of your time is spent struggling to figure out how to survive with no income, an elderly parent to support, and your days are so filled with financial desperation that it even hurts to smile. I never believed in giving money to big organizations (back when I had it) because SO MUCH of it went to the organization and so little to people who needed it desperately. I always preferred to just HELP someone I knew was struggling. I did it when I could - but there is no one there for me. Emotionally, my Spark Friends are my lifeline.
    3283 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12367305
    Thanks for the lovely things to think about.

    I happen to volunteer once a week with an organization that houses Wish Kids and their families for their vacation to the Orlando area. It is called Give Kids the World. The wish is for the child with the life threatening illness of course but it actually is a week for the whole famiy...to make memories, to forget the illness, to have a vacation like no other.

    The Give Kids the World Resort Village has so many activities and amenities they wouldn't even need to leave the resort to have a nice vacation but they do go to the attractions and come home to the village to relax. It takes 1200 to 1500 3 to 4 hour shifts to run the fun.

    I love it there. I love that my one piece of volunteering (usually serving breakfast, which they get free meals at the resort) makes someone's overall memory of that week special times. I enjoy spreading love by carrying a tray full of food to the table or serving food in the food line or wiping and bussing tables if that is my job that week. We all have something to give and opportunities are everywhere.
    3283 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.