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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Just How Far Are You Willing to Go?

It seems like the world around us is falling apart. People are getting sick, having more health issues, more surgeries, more financial issues, and in general finding it hard to make it in this world any more. Yet it seems like when I look around, all I can see is people burrowing in deeper and deeper. Avoiding stares, their neighbors and trying to keep their heads down and keep to themselves, while all around us people are in need of our help.

I even hear excuses that people are tired of helping everyone else and that it's someone else's turn to help. That just because help is needed, they are sick of being the one to do it. Really?

I'm not asking people to consider having people move in with them or emptying their bank accounts, but what I do notice takes me back to the Amish way of life. Where community isn't just about who your neighbors are but it may include others you don't really know but live near you. Whenever a crisis hits the Amish community, they rally together and the entire community helps out. They bring food, supplies, tools, whatever the crisis calls for in need, they supply in abundance. They don't keep records of whom they helped, or how many times they've been there for others, how much it has cost them in supplies, they simply do as much as they can.

What if our neighborhoods were so much more like the Amish community? What if people stopped living for themselves and looked out for others. The Amish believe that God will provide their daily needs so they don't worry about tomorrow. They don't worry about the things they didn't get to yesterday, they focus on today.

It makes me wonder, and I am just as guilty of this as most, how many of our neighbors could use help in some way? Perhaps someone is sick and could use the help in cleaning or watching their kids so they can get some rest. Perhaps it's someone who recently had surgery and they can't get out to visit, what about going to visit them, bring them a meal that they can simply pop in the oven or their favorite dessert, or perhaps taking care of some much needed errands for them.

I think the problem lies with simply being too selfish. We are simply too worried about ourselves, our families needs and what will happen if we help and it's never returned when we have a need. The thoughts should be who cares if they remember our needs when we are hurting. Jesus reminded us to take care of the poor, the sick, the needy, the widowed, the single parents, and I would wager that you know of someone who could use your help, but they will never ask out of pride. Yet if you showed up with genuine concern, not only would you find your help appreciated, but we would show them just what being a Christian means.

I think the Amish do a great job as teaching the world what it means to be followers of Christ. They aren't perfect and too often the world spends too much time trying to figure out their motives, instead of just seeing that what they do, is simply done if love, no conditions, no paybacks, or records of how often they have come through for others. What a different world this would be!

Sure there are bound to be people that would take advantage of our kindness, but I think the world would be better off with more kindness than worrying about greed. Greed is our motivation now, what's in it for us, for our families, if we help out. I think that is sending people the wrong message. If you think about it, God supplies our daily needs, not weekly, yearly or ten years from now, but just for today. So in the world today, there are enough families for orphans to love and care for, their is enough medicine to take care of those in need, there is enough food and water for everyone, and the world could be a better place.

We need to be willing to step outside our comfort zones and stop waiting for someone else to do it, we need to be the ones. If we could motivate our homes to help, then our neighbors, then our communities, cities, counties and states, the world would look a whole lot different.

Just how far are you willing to go to help someone out today?

The challenge has been issued.

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