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We are commanded as a group and individually to help others. There are people who are truly in need and we are to be God’s “hands” in these situations.“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). If we see someone in need, we are warned about not doing anything.“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit” (James 2:14-16)?

Yet, we must not enable bad behavior. “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). If we are approached by the lazy and shiftless to be fed, we would only encourage their behavior by feeding them or giving them other things. The same goes for those who are drinking alcohol or using drugs. Giving them money or food just allows them to continue what they are doing. There are too many Christians and those in the religious world who are enabling bad behavior. It is sin to have a part in that! We can try and help the person who is an addict who is trying to kick the habit. But, people who are making no effort to do better for themselves aren’t to be given personal or the Lord’s resources.

I pray that no brother or sister will stand by and watch folks who are truly in need. I pray that we would be proactive. If we suspect someone is doing without, we should check on them and satisfy their immediate needs as quickly as possible. I also pray that we all stop giving or contributing to those who just look for a handout and will never try to take care of themselves. We aren’t doing them any favors when we do.

Chris Moore
Clarendon church of Christ
Clarendon, TX

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