A reader asks:
Part of the work of the Church is benevolence. To what extend can a church carry out the work of benevolence? Does the payment of house rent, medical bills,and money for feeding to members who has lost their jobs; and whose income is inadequate to meet a larger family responsibility part of the church responsibility? Who gets help and who doesn’t?
This is not a full treatment of the question but rather a general response for your consideration. You could easily write an entire book on this topic.
It has always been the Church’s obligation to help the TRULY poor and needy. That line (who is TRULY in need) has been blurred by a welfare mentality, unprecedented prosperity and the confusing of true need with “lifestyle”. It takes discernment to know the difference between genuine HELP, and enabling poor behavior or subsidizing lifestyle.
Some people need help with rent because they lost their job due to no fault of their own or got cancer. Other people need help with rent because they’ve been foolish with finances, lazy, impulsive or indulgent. The former deserves our help… the latter deserves to learn a hard lesson via the consequences because the life skills are more valuable than the money.
Corporately, the Church Shepherds/Leaders/Deacons should wisely and prayerfully discern who is deserving of help and to what degree or longevity.
Individually, we pray and ask God for wisdom, compassion and generosity in making decisions on who should receive various kinds of help from us. Generally speaking, we should be people who actively seek opportunity to bless others, and people who err on the side of compassion and generosity.
Remember too, God honors our motives of generosity and love even if we don’t always make the “perfect” decision in these matters. I know our family has helped people before with the purest of motives only to find out that help was wasted and unappreciated. That does not change God’s blessing on our sincere desire to help another. The Christian’s “default response” should be generosity and benevolence trusting God for clear guidance with each decision and opportunity.
PS: WHAT ARE YOUR QUESTIONS FOR ME? Ask here. Want to book me for preaching, speaking or business consulting? Go here. If you are blessed by what I write, would you be so kind to share this post with others by clicking the SHARE+ button below? You never know who might need these exact words in their life today. To give a gift of support, click here.