Have you ever experienced a time where you wish you had the scripture memorized that would help you be encouraged to help others? As a Christian, we should serve and help others who need help. I have experienced times when I wondered if someone was attempting to take advantage of me because they knew I am a Christian.
The Bible gives us scripture about helping others and calls us to do it unselfishly. This means to help without expecting anything in return or a reward. Helping others also means that you may need to help complete a task that they can’t complete themselves. Everyone needs help at some point. Helping others should be done without reservation and not as doing them a favor because then, and it’s not from our heart and with sincere intentions.
We should desire to help others because it makes a positive impact on others, and it’s good for everyone.
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What Does Scripture Say About Helping Others
It is the light of Christ that is shown through us when we show love to others and the attributes of the fruit of the spirit. Living for Christ means to glow, similar to a light that sits on the hilltop that cannot be hidden. We are giving value and assistance to our community. All of our good deeds should point back to Jesus. We are to be an example of truth to the rest of the world. God calls to bring love and shed His light to others
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
To help our brother or sister is need to show the love of Christ. It’s not possible to love God, who abides in you and not love your neighbor.
If you have a roof over your head, a refrigerator with foot, heat in the cold, and the ability to cool when it’s hot in the summer, you have the world’s goods. If we are good stewards with what God has entrusted to us, we know we are in good standing on the day of His return.
“But if there are any poor Israelites in your towns when you arrive in the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tightfisted toward them. Instead, be generous and lend them whatever they need. Deut. 15:7,8
Why Should We Help Others
Helping others provides an opportunity for others to live a better life. Once a month, our family would volunteer at one of the local Shelters. Saturday mornings are a time to give back to those who are less fortunate than us. A group of us would unite to prepare breakfast and serve each person that came in for a hot meal and fellowship with others.
Volunteering isn’t the only way to help others. We can help others by mentoring, giving donations for food and clothing drives, cleaning the house or mowing yards for an elderly or sick person, and participating in mission outreach opportunities.
Helping others isn’t a one-way street but provides the opportunity to connect with new friends and the community. When you’ve positively touched someone’s life, you feel connected to them. I remember sitting down and having a pleasant conversation even with the language barrier.
I know it was the love of Christ connecting our hearts through this act of service, which I know was meaningful to her and brought warmth to my heart. Bringing God’s love into our communities is a powerful act.
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.” Matthew 6:2
Helping others goes a long way and gives the opportunity to show the fruit of the spirit as given in Galatians 5:22-23 Kindness, gentleness, love, self-control, patience, joy, peace, faithfulness and goodness.
“If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord—and he will repay you! Proverbs 19:17
What Does the Bible Say About Helping Those Who Won’t Help Themselves
There have been times when it was difficult and frustrating for me to help others if it appeared they weren’t helping themselves.
It is during these times that it is imperative to use wisdom. We should not judge someone on our expectations and assume they are not helping themselves. The helplessness could be from fear of moving out of their comfort zone, or maybe they are depressed.
Money isn’t the only means of helping someone, it can be an encouraging word and a listening ear to discuss the situation that has them “stuck.”
It is during these times we need to pray and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction. We need to act in compassion with the heart of God.
Be careful not to push the issue or put pressure on them, but to simply let them know you are there to help them and provide support. You may consider asking the person to keep you informed and make yourself available to help them if they reach out to you.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Then, unfortunately, you may need to realize that after numerous attempts you probably can not help them. Lifestyle and behavior choices can interfere with the desire to change; there has to be an intentional internal desire for the person to help themselves. Building a relationship with Christ will make a difference in their lives, but you cannot do it for them.
Have you heard the phrase, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink?” We must use discernment to know when it was crossing the line, genuine concern or judgmental. However, we can find comfort in knowing that
“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:3,4 (NLT)
Helping Others Without Seeking Recognition
Helping others and not bragging can give you a sense of great reward internally, which is far greater than recognition from others. God knows and sees your heart. What was the attitude of your heart when you are helping others? What is your motive?
We are to do what the Holy Spirit leads us to know that will bring honor to God and not ourselves when we help others; our reward is in heaven.
“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. Matthew 6:1,2
As a child, I remember fundraisers for church improvement. Your family name would be imprinted on the stain-glassed window or a church pew with a specific donation amount. Was this an act of reasonable service to obtain recognition, or was it an act of worship unto the Lord? We must be careful not to allow pride to be in our hearts.
Our motive for helping others in secret is not always humility; it may be pride. To vulnerably express generosity by helping others can be an act of humility. We must always check our motives, but it certainly doesn’t have to be an act of pride.
We shouldn’t brag about our Bible study, prayer, evangelism, parenting, or helping others in secret, but neither should we cover it up. It’s easier for people to follow what we do by setting positive examples than commands of telling what to do. We need to see examples of givers. Hebrews 10:24 tells us to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” We can only be spurred on by what we can see.
Scripture Calls Us To Help One Another
All of us experience trouble at one time or another, but God remains faithful during hardships. No matter what the circumstances, scripture tells us to help one another. We can demonstrate our love for the Lord by showing compassion towards those you encounter. Even small gestures can mean a great deal to someone who is hurting or discouraged.
Jesus loves us in such an incredible way by dying on the cross for our sins. We must take the time to show this same love to our neighbors. And take the blessings we have received and share them by helping others.
“For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers,as you still do.” Hebrews 6:10