Yesteday I took my daughter to McDonalds for an ice cream. One forgets that going to McDonalds in most of the world is going to a place for middle to upper class people. Almost everyone in this McDonalds was dressed in suits and dresses. My daughter bought a delicious swirled ice cream cone.
While we were sitting there talking, a little girl came up who clearly lived on the streets. She was selling breath mints to make enough money to eat, although she would probably be forced to give the money to her mom who was watching from close by, and this money is often used for drugs. The ice cream cost me 75 cents, so I had 25 cents sitting on the table. I asked the girl her name, and she said Carly. “How old are you” I asked. She said 5 (she liked like she was 3 years old). I had to make a decision, do I help her or not? If i help will the money go to drugs or alcohol for her mother?
I chose to give her the measly 25 cents. A few minutes passed and I saw her with a small Coke in her hand from McDonalds, with a huge smile on her face. She had just wanted a drink.
Often I get so caught up in becoming the best leader I can be by reading books, studying the Bible and going to seminars. Sometimes I forget that Jesus taught that if we were to be the best leaders, we would have to follow His example and be the biggest servants (John 13).
Jesus further says that if we serve Him in His disguises by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and in prison, then we would have eternal life. If we do not do these things, we will go to eternal punishment. (Matthew 25).
In the book called “When Helping Hurts”, it says, “The Bible’s teachings should cut to the heart of North American Christians. By any measure, we are the richest people ever to walk on planet earth. Furthermore, at no time in history has there ever been greater economic disparity in the world than at present.” (When Helping Hurts, pg. 42)
What are you going to do about it? Matthew 25 makes it clear that helping indirectly is not enough. We must help directly.
Indirectly we can help by giving so that others can help the needy. Directly we must get our hands dirty, our hearts moved, our Christ-like attitude improved. Jesus doesn’t say, “if you send money you will have eternal life.” He does say, “The King will reply, truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40 NIV).
What about you?
*Here are 3 organizations that help meet the needs of these kinds of children: