18 “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” JOHN 3:18 (NIV)
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “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 25:37-40 (NIV)
How many times have we walked pass a person in need and rather than acknowledge them we avert our eyes, pretend they are not there, we pretend that we don’t see their need? If we pretend that they aren’t there or they don’t exist, then we are telling ourselves a lie and are refusing to acknowledge their need! It would be easy to give a dollar and say, “I did my part”. But not everything should or could be solved with money. It would be easy to assume I’m talking about the homeless, or could I be talking about a friend or family member. Matthew talks about the difference between the sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25. In verses 37-40, The righteous asked the Lord about when they had helped him. They were not aware that the things they were doing everyday were so meaningful. We should ask the question, “Is this the way would treat Jesus, our King.” They treated the least of these in the manner that the King wanted them to. They were acting on the Kings behalf without thinking it about it. They just did it.
John says in 3:18, “Dear children let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth”. When we get so comfortable that we can’t see outside of our needs and acknowledge the needs of others, then we need to check our priorities. Words are cheap. Actions tell the real story. Sometimes we may feel that we must get our lives right with God before we extend love to others. Yes, consider your relationship with God and his son, Jesus. Develop a strong relationship with our savior. Don’t let a bruised relationship with God be an excuse for not making the effort to love others through your actions. We are all works in progress. Excuses are a cop out. Excuses are what we say to make us feel better about not making the effort to find real and meaningful solutions.
Treating people in need with love may be more complicated than giving someone money. Real love cost our time. Time seems to be the one thing that we don’t want to give up. What is our attitude? Is our attitude that if it isn’t inconvenient or it doesn’t cost too much, we’ll be happy to help? Are you willing to “see” those that are in need in order to show them love? Next time face and acknowledge those who you meet. Don’t ignore their needs. Let them know that you see them and more importantly, God sees them. When our actions say, “I see you”; that is love. Helping them with their need, is love in action. Remember, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40.