Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Don't Make Them Beg

I was thinking about a new big screen TV that has sound (the sound on our TV sometimes works, and sometimes doesn't). I was thinking about the cost, and I was thinking about the fact that I really don't have time to spend watching an additional several hours of TV a week. Then I was thinking about this verse, "But whoever sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?" (1 John 3:17) and I was thinking about how comfortable I am physically and financially, and I was thinking about the word, specifically the word, "sees."

The impetus for Christian charitable giving is the love of God. If I don't give to brothers in need, I don't have the love of God abiding in me. Now, sometimes, God's love is in me, but I try to guard it in order to feed my flesh. I practice a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. I mean, there is need all around, so just don't ask and you won't have to feel guilty that you aren't giving. But, the verse didn't say, "if anyone hears about a brother in need." No, it said, "whoever sees his brother in need." So, the only way to keep the love of God selfishly hemmed up in my heart is to literally walk blindfolded through life. Why do you think that it is so hard to walk past a beggar on the street? Why do you think we tell our children, "don't look at them."?

It is not the responsibility of my brother in need to come begging. It is my responsibility to keep my eyes open to my brother's needs. If I have anything at all, it is given to me, not to waste on materialism, but to invest in others.

Don't make them beg.

Don't make your brothers and sisters in need beg.