You know the story – Peter and John meet this crippled guy asking for money at the Temple gate. They say to him, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”
There is a real problem in helping folks. Many Christians want to help, but don’t know how. Somebody asks you for money, but you’re afraid they’re going use the money for the wrong things and if they do, you haven’t helped. So, over time we just don’t do anything ’cause we don’t know what to do.
Peter and John solved the problem without using money. They got the guy back on his feet! By getting this crippled man on his feet, he didn’t need to beg anymore because he could work. There is a great lesson in helping people in this passage – get people back on their feet.
Family after family come to our businesses, churches, civic organizations or our favorite charities asking for silver and gold. What may be most helpful (in the name of Jesus) is to get them back on their feet. Yes, that does take silver and gold and checks and money orders. But, by helping people get back on their feet, we take them out of begging for silver and gold all the time to where they can stand on their own and not need the financial assistance.
When someone comes to you asking for money, ask God to help you see how to get them back on their feet. It may be a family who just lost their jobs or homes or may be deep in debt. They feel broken, alone, and afraid with no hope. We often think the quick relief of the most pressing bill is the answer. Instead, over time and usually not as long as they think, you can help them get their feet back underneath them.
Once stabilized, they can pay their own bills with their heads held high, not their hands held out. You will also be able to help them address some core issues, mostly spiritual, that may have contributed to their situation in the first place. By doing this, you can really help put them on the solid ground which is our Lord Jesus.
Friends, our Lord stands ready to strengthen the weak. Many times we leave them weak by giving them something that only puts a Band-Aid on a problem rather than solve the problem.
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!'” Matthew 25:21