If I can just help somebody… | Opinion | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | July 31, 2016 5:00 am
Last Updated: July 27, 2016 at 4:25 pm
At the close of my prayers, each time that I pray to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I always say, “Lord, please help me to be a blessing to someone, so that I can be a blessing to you.”
Why do I say that? There are a number of reasons, but I will share three that are scripture-based. First of all, in Mark 14:7 (ESV), Jesus said, “For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me.” When Jesus said that we will always have the poor with us, that does not refer to just the poor in wealth, but it also means the poor in spirit, in heart, and in mind. Therefore, we have an obligation to help the less fortunate.
Secondly, Proverbs 19:17 (ESV) tells us, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed.” Consequently, God will reward us for our generosity to others, no matter what is the act of kindness. However, we must remember that it must come from the heart and not for a show for man.
Finally, according to Philippians 2:4 (ESV), we are told, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” If we clinch our “fists,” letting nothing go out, then nothing will enter. There is no reward for selfishness. My philosophy of life is “If I can help somebody, then my living shall not be in vain.” I took my philosophy from a popular song by the late, great Gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson, “If I Can Help Somebody.” I want to please God and be a blessing to Him, so doing something to help someone in need, regardless of how big or how small, will help me to win favor in His sight, and He will reward me. Serving others to gain popularity among our fellow men is not the way. Their rewards are not eternal, but God’s are. When I leave this world, I want my family and friends to remember that I did try to help my fellow man in every way that I possibly could as resonated in the lyrics of Mahalia Jackson’s song that have always been so impressionable to me.
Whenever I run into former and current students, parents, people with whom I have worshipped, devoted readers of my column, and others who I know from other walks of life, and they tell me what an inspiration I have been to them, then I know I am doing God’s will. I am helping His people. If you are not helping others, then you need a reality check because God needs all of us to minister to His people. Just giving someone who is down and depressed an encouraging word can be a blessing. It doesn’t always have to be materialistic. This inspirational story, “Pickup in the Rain,” that I will leave with you is a perfect example of how God will reward us when we help others in His name. Enjoy and share!
“One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African-American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down, and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car.
“A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance, and put her into a taxicab.
“She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by, and a knock came on the man’s door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. It read: ‘Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband’s bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.’”
I have a homework assignment for you this week. Do something extra special for someone, from the bottom of your heart, in Jesus’ name. Then stand back and watch God work.
Have a wonderfully blessed week, and never leave home without Him!
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)