People are afraid to help others because so many times the help is viewed as weakness and is often abused. Helping people is a good thing. I’m not advocating selfishness. In fact, I think we need more kindness in the world. But it is common knowledge that a lot of people take advantage of kindness.
This attitude towards helping others has only developed within the last two or three decades. Years ago, people thought nothing about stopping to help a stranded motorist or picking up a hitchhiker. And people were grateful for the help and offered to return the favor.
However, society today is a whole other world compared to those times. There are a lot of good, honest people in this world, but truth be told, for every honest person today, there are at least five dishonest ones.
So many people today look for ways to get something for nothing and if you offer them an inch, they’ll take a mile. Furthermore, God forbid that you should need their help because nine times out of ten, you won’t get it.
As a Christian, I was raised to believe that we are not to conform to this world. Jesus instructed us to be good to those who despitefully use us. Therefore, rather than adopt the selfish attitude of the world, I will help others if I think I can.
But the Lord also said we shouldn’t set ourselves up to be afflicted. We shouldn’t tempt God. If and when I suspect possible trouble, I pause to pray then study the situation before going boldly into a potentially bad situation.
One of the MANY things I admire about the Lord is His common sense attitude about things. Like when He was asked about healing on the Sabbath and He told them that if their ox was in a ditch they would get it out. It’s just plain common sense. His parables were all common sense.
So I study a situation and try to do as Jesus did and use common sense. If a “friend” needs a little cash before payday and I have it, I will gladly help out. If they don’t pay me back and ask again, I’ll give it to them as a gift rather than a loan. But if I can’t afford to give it away, I’ll have no choice but to refuse. You can’t give what you don’t have.
My neighbor got me out of bed before sunup every morning to boost his car battery so he could go to work. The first two or three times he did it, I thought he was waiting until payday to get another battery. Surely he wouldn’t wake me unless he couldn’t help it. Who would do such a thing?
He handed me the cables one morning after boosting his car and said he was going to let it run for a few minutes while he tossed a box of old newspapers in the dumpster. I went back inside to make my bed. I was wide awake so no sense going back to bed.
The bedroom window was cracked and I heard him talking to someone on his cell phone and I was blown away when I heard, “I’m not forking over the money for a battery as long as I can get a boost every morning.”
Lowering myself slowly to my bed, I could feel the anger welling up inside and began to pray for peace and forgiveness. That afternoon when the guy got home from work, I presented him with a brand-new battery.
You may think that’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard of.
Jesus said to be good to those who despitefully use you and that’s what I did. It cost me seventy dollars, but look at what it bought me. The guy stopped waking me up at the crack of dawn and I obeyed the Lord, hopefully pleasing Him, and to me, that alone was priceless.