If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:17-18)
It’s a pretty straightforward equation really. The love of God in us = loving action toward those in need. However, the amount of need in the world is so great we may not know where to start. Or knowing we’ll never eliminate all the need, it’s tempting to not even try. After all, Jesus Himself said the poor would always be with us (Mark 14:7).
As I read John’s words above a new thought hit me. What if caring for the poor is not about erasing all the poverty in the world, but erasing all the greed within us? What typically prevents me from helping others is not being unaware of their needs, or the knowledge that poverty will continue despite my efforts. No, what keeps me from helping others is my selfishness – plain and simple.
Selfishness strangles generosity, and generosity is necessary to demonstrate God’s love. So why not choose one project geared toward meeting the real needs of others and invest yourself in that cause? You won’t wipe out all poverty around you, but you just might wipe out all greed within you. And the love of Christ will shine through you like never before! –Dave
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