There is a tension when it comes to helping people, and we must live in it. There are several difficult elements to people when it comes to God’s queasy justice:
- People being stingy.
- People giving; but comfortably so.
- People giving; but too much and harming themselves and their family.
- People that MUST be reliant on the help of others.
- People receiving; but forget how they can give back.
- People receiving; but completely becoming reliant on others’ help and ignoring how they can help themselves.
God’s call for justice and compassion on ALL people is the way of Jesus. But what happens when our efforts seemed to be hurting and not helping? (Still need to get to the frequently referenced book, “When Helping Hurts.” Had a lot of people recommend it.)
There’s no easy answer to this question; and it varies with each circumstance. Many of us, though, steer clear of helping because we don’t want to face that tension of not knowing if we’re helping or hurting.
Listen, the compassion of Jesus is bold and risky. You’re never going to get it right all the time, so stick to the core of who you are as a Jesus-follower: err on the side of compassion and give the rest to God.