There are different kinds of people in this world. Some are people pleasers, they are always ready to help but sometimes to the detriment of their well being. Many times they are not able to tell when someone is taking advantage of their kindness or when their good intentions are not valued but rather seen as an opportunity to capitalize on.
Then there are those who are considerate of others but they are able to discern ensuring that they are available to help when help is genuinely needed but they also seek to empower the needy so they can grow to become less dependent on others. These are people with the “teach a man how to fish” mentality.
The third group consists of individuals who see people as interruptions and inconveniences. Mistrust in the intentions of others plays a big role in their unwillingness to extend a hand of kindness to those who may need it. They are protective of their family and of their wealth and often find excuses not to help.
I am thinking of yet another group. This fourth group extends help only to those within their close circles. They promote cliques excluding all others for selfish reasons.
I don’t know where you fit in best but I am thinking of Christmas and Christ and reflecting a bit on who He was while He lived among men and who He is today as He intercedes for us continuously. I conclude that he is certainly not any of the following:
- Someone who is suspicious of us to the extent that he questions our plea for help and withholds it.
- Someone who ignores our sins and weaknesses and has no interest in seeing us overcome these areas and grow.
- Someone who is unwilling to serve others without conditions.
- Someone who is too busy with his own affairs to think of the man or woman who is desperately in need of his love and his attention.
- Someone who thinks that his resources are for his benefit only and not for the benefit of others.
I urge us to be honest with ourselves and search our hearts deeply. When it comes to how we treat each other, are we really doing it the Jesus way?
I often find myself being caught off guard. I would meet someone and then after leaving their presence I would wonder if I should’ve reached out. Sometimes I think it is a missed opportunity. Yes! I have been burnt before, but I must find a way not to let these few instances dominate how I think about those who are in need. I must always remember that my needs are taken care of by my heavenly father who enables me to share with others. He gives freely to us, all we have to do is ask.
As we embrace the Christmas Season and a new year, may we experience the freedom of sharing not being too concerned about whether or not the person is genuinely in need. Let’s act more like Jesus and give freely.