Daily Bible Reading for Wednesday, January 24th:

5 Bits of Guidance for Helping Others

The Good Samaritan - ~1633 - Rembrandt (1606–1669)

The Good Samaritan – ~1633 – Rembrandt (1606–1669)

“Helping others” is a touchy subject among most people.

Each individual has their own definition of what it means to help, how much they can help and indeed, who deserves help.

So who do we help and how do we know when we are Scripturally required to do so?

Outside of the framework of the church, it is argued politically how much help should come from the government. Appeals to human decency are weighed against abuses of the system of redistribution. The only clear result is people take sides and argue more about it – and we still have people in need.

Inside the framework of the church, many get tired of the requests for help. The constant flow of “needs” and “misfortunes” from the communities surrounding a church facility make it hard to distinguish between the occasional real need and those working the system. In order to protect the resources of the church from “thieves,” they are often distributed too sparingly – and we still have people in need.

How do we, as individuals or the church, deal with this? Loving our neighbor is a mandate that is equal to loving God. (Matthew 22:39)

Jesus wrapped a lesson on how to help others and to what extent in the parable of the Good Samaritan. (Luke 10:25-37) This parable is the gold standard of what it means to “Love thy Neighbor” by showing unlimited compassion for a complete stranger.

It takes that level compassion to properly show our love to God!

Each person should work through the idea of helping others on their own. Here are some relevant Scriptures to help with that:

  • Luke 6:38 – How generous giving is rewarded
  • Galatians 6:10 – The church is instructed to “do good to all“, but especially other Christians.
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:10 – Often used as a reason NOT to help others, but the context is much more than that. Be careful here.
  • James 2:15 – Telling someone you’ll pray for their situation (or they just need to have faith in God) isn’t very helpful when they are hungry. One needs to take some action.
  • Acts 2:45 – The new Christians were selling stuff they owned to help sustain other new Christians as the church grew.

I’ve given just the main verses, don’t forget to go look at the context for each of these. The context definitely key.

As to what to tell you the answer is, I’ll leave the Scriptures to do that. “Helping others” is a lifelong pursuit that a Christian has to grow into. To get to the level of the Good Samaritan, we all have a lot of growing to do!


About Butch Adams

In addition to writing this blog and contributing elsewhere, I have served as elder and deacon in the various places I have worshiped. In these duties, I have concentrated my attention on the area of education - both in outreach to seekers through the Internet and inside the congregations for ongoing Bible scholarship. Comments and thoughts about referenced material in the article above are Copyright 2018 by Butch Adams . Any referenced material belongs to its owners and every attempt has been made to use it according to their wishes.

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