So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Ruth 2:8
This past weekend, we wrapped our August series, Helping without Hurting. Throughout the series, Pastor Jeff Manion has helped us see that while the needs of our world are incredibly complicated, there are some wise principles we can use to discern how best to help without hurting.
The Bible makes it clear we live in a broken world, and this brokenness presents us with many needs. Needs are complicated, and there isn’t one way to solve them. But through the story of Ruth and other texts, we’ve seen the following principles. (1) Pray. Ask God for wisdom. Needs are complex, whether we’re serving one family or trying to help an entire community. We won’t have the strength to do it alone; we need to rely on God’s strength. (2) Don’t do for others what they can do for themselves. Help them become providers. The solution to poverty isn’t giving things away but empowering people to care for themselves. (3) Helping involves discerning. There are more needs than we will have the resources to meet. It’s wise and loving to establish criteria to discern what needs to meet and who to help. (4) Family is the first line of defense. We are the first to care for our family. (5) Don’t think 1-on-1, think 5-on-1. Often it takes a team to make a difference. Once you’ve discerned where and how to help, recruit a team to help you. It will likely require more than you anticipate. The right team allows you to provide the necessary help without burning anyone out. (6) Try to do things WITH people instead of FOR them. This helps people begin to move in a positive direction for more lasting and meaningful change.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Return to Pastor Jeff’s challenge to commit to pray for 30 days about where and how to help. Once again, pray and ask God to help you see where and how to help. Ask God to help give you the wisdom you need to know how to put the principles into practice. The Holy Spirit may already be revealing a specific need or a person to you. If that’s the case, thank God for that clarity and begin to step obediently into that situation.
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
August is PRAYER. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.