Love cannot be outsourced

Posted By: Dieuner Joseph | Tuesday, September 18, 2018

He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ Luke 10:34-35

Every time there is a natural disaster, people rush to donate money. Others volunteer their time to help with relief efforts. Indeed, an entire industry has been created by well-intentioned people to help others in their times of need. Many people earn their living by working for “aid” agencies. They benefit from the suffering of others, whether they meant to or not.

After the earthquake in Haiti, almost a billion dollars were raised to help the victims. Yet most of that money did not get to the Haitian. Instead, greedy individuals enriched themselves from the donations of people from across the globe who wanted to help the Haitians in their time of need.

In times of need, people give money because they want to help. But there is a difference in wanting to do something and actually doing it. What we learn from today’s text is that the Samaritan bandaged the wounds of the man that was robbed. He took care of him personally, and he spent his money to ensure the wellbeing of the man. Because he wanted to help, he spent his time and used his money to make sure the man was helped.

It is never enough just to write a check. God wants us to be physically involved in the care of others. After the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, I didn’t give any money to any organization. But I went to Haiti to help with the relief efforts. I was part of a team that included Medical doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and others who made themselves available to do anything that is required to help. When I got on the ground, I gave money to the victims of the earthquake.

My point is that love cannot be outsourced. We should not just give money to organizations when there is a crisis. The best gift we can give others in times of crisis is our ministry of presence. God expects us to be like the Good Samaritan and make ourselves available to touch the lives of those in need with our time, our talents and our money. All three are necessary.

When we only send money we are paying other people to be physically present on our behalf. Thus, we are outsourcing love. Agape love cannot be purchased or commoditized. Jesus did not send someone else to die for us at the cross of Calvary. He did not use the riches of heaven to pay for the debt of sin we owe. He came physically to pay the price with his blood. He could have stayed in heaven and send the angels to help humanity, but he did not. He did not send some billionaires to do it. But he came as a servant to feed the hungry, heal the sick, set the captives free, and save the lost. In short, Jesus did not outsource his love.

One of the best ways to help the victims of Hurricane Florence is not just to write a check or drop off some supplies. We have to be physically available to minister to the victims. Some people will need a hug. Others will need a hot meal. Many need help to clean debris from their homes, etc. So find a relief organization to volunteer for a day or so instead of just writing a check. Surely, relief organizations can use your money, but the victims of Florence need your presence more.

Prayer- Father, give us the heart to express our love to those in need in ways that are more impacting and transformative.

About The Author

Rev. Dieuner Joseph is a dynamic leader, disciple Maker, Writer, Talk Show host, and Spiritual counselor. Reverend Joseph is the founder of the Imani Temple Baptist Church and the Disciple Maker Ministry. He is a skilled Bible teacher who carefully and responsibly exegete the Scriptures to make them relevant to today’s readers. Through his Blog and weekly Christian magazine- The Wednesday Word- he seeks to provide Bible based instructions for dealing with the socio-political issues of today.

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