If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:15-17 ESV)
Our dog Mona Lisa rushes in after her walk and dances and prances, all the time barking as she demands a treat. Lately however, it’s gotten out of hand. She’s gotten downright obnoxious! In response, we’ve started to reward her once in a while with affection and attention in lieu of a cookie in hopes that she will stop her shrill requests. It takes more time and effort on our part, but we figure it will hopefully change her character for the better.
The other day as she came barreling up the stairs, I called her to my side. She ran up and sniffed my hand then pulled away . . . clearly disappointed that I had no calories to offer. Snapping my fingers I made her come and I rubbed her ears and neck, telling her that love was better than cookies. As I said it, I don’t know why, but the thought came to me about how easy it is sometimes for us to write a one-minute check to help our favorite charity – (a ‘cookie) – versus giving of our time or efforts – (love).
It convicted me and caused me to consider the times that I have physically showed up to minister to the needy and the amazing way the Lord can use us when we do. Yes, giving financially to the poor is important and does show our love, but connecting and demonstrating love reaps rewards that we may never know this side of heaven.
Father, forgive us for the many times that we disconnect ourselves from the needy around us. Help us to find ways to reach out in tangible ways ourselves, so that we can truly experience what it is to be Your hands and feet. Amen!