Helping the Helpless
If there was a list of 10 top actions that we are to do as Christians, helping the helpless would be on it. Psalm 41:1-3 sets the tone by telling us we ought to "consider the helpless." So who are the helpless?
Scattered throughout the Old and New Testaments are many passages that clearly define this type of person. Following is a general overview of what I mean.
1. Those who are in prison, who are sick, hungry, thirsty, naked, afflicted, weak, broken hearted, captives, oppressed, homeless, and who are strangers. (Matthew 25:35-36; Psalm 146:7; Acts 20:35; I Thessalonians 5:14; Isaiah 58:6-12 and 61:1-2, and Luke 10: 30-37.)
2. Orphans and widows. (James 1:27)
3. Anyone who has "pressing needs." (I John 3:17 and Titus 3:14)
There are three general attitudes that need to be exhibited toward those who are helpless: compassion, forebearance (Phil. 4:5) and not "closing one's heart." (I John 3:17)
Compassion needs no explanation, but it is something Christ demonstrated repeatedly in the Gospels, and we could use more of.
The best definition of forebearance that I have come across is "supporting with the greatest of patience another person's weaknesses of body and spirit."
"Closing our hearts", in my opinion, means drumming up excuses to not help someone. We should not do that.
Read Psalm 41:1-3 and Isaiah 58:6-12 to catch the message of blessing for helping the helpless. It truly is something after God's own heart. After you have read these passages, list some ways you can help the helpless around you, and then begin doing it. Here are a couple of examples from my own life: I go to the rescue mission once a month to just mingle with the people, and sometimes sharing with them from my life. I also am keeping in touch with a man in prison.
One word of caution, however. You are about to go out of your convenience and confort zone.
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