Saturday, February 9, 2013

Helping Everyone "Out There"

I listened to her talk.  Telling me all about this big thing she had been working on.  All in the name of Christ, of course. 

She had spent time, quite a bit of it. 
She had spent money, quite a bit of it. 
She had exerted effort, quite a bit of it.
She used her God given talents and interests, quite a bit of them.

She was reaching out to the needy ones "out there".  People she didn't know.  But God knows.

I listened.  I wondered.  Nothing wrong with any of it.  But still I wondered, why? 

Not that she shouldn't, because somebody should.  But why all this time, money, effort and talent for this?  For them, the unknown?  What was the appeal?  Why not help those right here in front of her?  Honestly, I thought of my own need that day and wondered why she didn't notice.

Before I could examine her any further I knew I had to stop to look in the mirror first.  Take a look inward instead of judging outward.  Why do I do what I do?  I'm afraid I'm as guilty as anyone.

Ah, I spend so much time helping everyone "out there".  Three blogs.  Four Facebook pages.  Big women's events.  A few ministries that I participate in and/or support.

Not that I shouldn't, because somebody should.  But why all this time, money, effort and talent for these things? 

First, am I so busy helping everyone "out there", that I'm missing those right here

Because ministry doesn't just happen at a big event or soup kitchen or missionary post in Timbuktu.  Sure, it happens there, but just as much it happens in our own homes, communities, jobs and churches. How am I living out the message I say I believe?  Ministry happens on Facebook and blogs, sure.  But what about at the grocery store?  What about in my own home?  Quite honestly, it's easier, most of the time, to help everyone "out there". 

Then, I asked myself, "What's my motivation?"  Because the motivation of my heart is even more important than what I actually do! 

Donating money, running ministries and writing on Christian blogs sounds more glamourous than scrubbing floors and washing clothes.  But I don't think what the world sees as important is necessarily what God sees as important.  In fact, I don't think the things that impress the world impress Him at all.  Yet, do I seek their honor above His?

"But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 20:26-28

It's good to check my heart.  Do I do these seemingly big things to look impressive and receive human glory?  Do I serve in the trenches when no one is looking, besides the One who matters, with humility and love as my Savior, Jesus, did?  Because scrubbing floors and washing clothes with the right heart attitude are pleasing to the One who made me and saved me.  They are service in His name just the same, if not more.

How many times in my attempt to help everyone "out there", have I missed the opportunity right here.  That sick friend who needed a meal.  The little son who needed some cuddle time.  The elderly neighbor who could use a call or visit.  A husband who needed his wife.  The department store clerk who needs an encouraging word.  I miss it too often.

It starts in the heart.

What should I be doing right here...with no other motivation but the love of Jesus that dwells in me? 

What should you be doing?  It's a question worth asking.

Note: God has ministry for us right here and out there. Both big and (seemingly) small. What a shame to miss any part of these divine opportunities.  Whatever He's leading me and you to do, may we do it with no other motivation but love.
"Take care! Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, because then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give a gift to someone in need, don't shout about it as the hypocrites do -- blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I assure you, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone, don't tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you." Matthew 6:1-4

It begins here.  In the every day.  I serve.  But do I serve in love? 
What is my attitude when no one is looking, but Him?
The ones right here before my eyes (and their daddy) are my first ministry.
It starts in the heart.  Oh, not to forget!
Who has God put in your realm of influence?
Moms out there, check out this post I recently read about Christlike Mothering. Good!!

Relate?  Leave a comment.  I love hearing from friends...both right here and out there! :)


  1. Oh, Rachel, you have hit it spot on. IT's all about the heart! That is also the journey I'm on. I'm so glad the Spirit is working in our hearts because it's so freeing to be released of performance demands. Keep writing! Love your HEART!

  2. It is a fight to the finish isn't it? Discerning the will of God. Discerning the motives of our hearts. Walking the balance, not turning to the right or the left.

    I love the part about Him allowing the challenges for the purpose of fighting to stay close to Him. Don't you think that just like we want to be chased by our husbands He wants to be chased by us?
    It all happens in the secret place.
    Bless you sister. Your family is the greatest investment for sure! It goes SO fast!!! Enjoy!

  3. Gulp. You're probably not going to want to visit my blog. Helping those 'others' is what God has called me to do. I did not look for this or even ask for it.

    Everyone has different ideas and thoughts about getting behind a cause. Some people do it because they want to be famous for giving. Like "look at me!" That is not the right reason.

    I'm doing what God told me to do because all my life I had trouble loving people. I had so many fears and insecurities when it came to loving. I prayed for years for God to help me love people, and He has answered that prayer.

    It doesn't mean anyone will roll up their sleeves to join me in loving these Ugandan orphans, or even feel that burden for themselves. Trust me, Facebook and Blogger get awfully quiet when I share my joy in this ministry. People don't want to hear about this, and that's okay. I don't always jump on the band wagon for other causes either. We're all doing our own thing for God, and that's okay.

  4. Debbie,
    Like I said, Debbie...God calls us to and there. My point is, we can't neglect the "here" to help everyone "out there". It's a balance. And we have to do all things to glorify Him and not self. The key is the heart! I think what you're doing is great! I have a desire to go on a mission trip to Guatemela. I do a lot of stuff for everyone "out there", but I want to make sure I'm doing it for the right reasons and without neglecting the ministries right beneath my my family. ((HUGS)) and blessing on all you do in the name of the Lord.


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