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Helping Hand

There’s an epidemic of well-meaning but misdirected help these days. We born-agains are often the worst offenders, imposing our “help” on people who either haven’t asked for it, don’t really want it, or never actually receive it.

In so doing, we make things worse for them and for us.

If people haven’t asked for help, don’t try to give it to them. It won’t work. Yes, you may see that they have a need, but if they don’t see that same need in themselves, keep your mouth shut about it. Better to go to God and pray for them than to nag them.

The only one you should be nagging is God.

Another help misfire is when people are insincere in their request for help. You’ll know the difference between a sincere request and an insincere one, and the best response to an insincere request is a simple “Sorry, no”. It may sound harsh, but ‘helping’ people who don’t really want to be helped in the way they need to be helped does not lead to a positive outcome for anyone.

Sending a check to a charity is another misdirected help effort that does no-one any good (except maybe the administrators and marketers of the charity). If you know (as most of us do now) that up to 100% of charitable donations are redirected down the black hole of admin and advertising costs, then you’re a sucker to sign the check. Charities are banking on your being a sucker. Close that sucker bank down.

If you feel the need to help someone financially, find a relative or an acquaintance who could use a few dollars. Give them the money (don’t lend it to them, give it to them) and do it anonymously, if possible. Expect nothing in return, not even a “thank you”. That’s true charity.

During his ministry years, Jesus helped all those who came to him in sincerity. God also helps all those who come to him in sincerity. These are our models – Jesus and God – not the Joneses next door who are involved in a dozen charities and sign up to do volunteer work every weekend.

If people sincerely need your help, God will send them to you and make it obvious that he sent them to you. Always be ready and willing to help whoever God sends your way. If God sends them, God will help you help them. That’s the only genuine help that’s genuinely needed and genuinely does any good.

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