I heard a song the other day by Josh Wilson called "Do You Want to Know?". The song talks about asking God to give you a heart of sympathy for the needs of the world, but to realize that once you know about the needs you'll have a desire to do more. This song spoke so strongly to me. I think it's because in recent years I've had my heart and eyes opened to the needs of others in my own community and around the world. And it has completely changed how I live my life.
As Christians God calls us to show love to one another by serving the needs of others. "But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?" (1 John 3:17) "Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God." (Heb. 13:16) "But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (1Tim. 5:8) "What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 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 2:14-17)
What confuses me is how some Christians can read those verses and see needs and do nothing. Many Christians talk about how we should be helping our family, friends and neighbors but they take no action. They say they love others but 1 John 3:17 says that if you have the ability to meet a need and don't then God's love is not in you. Their words are empty and mean nothing without action. They may say "I'll pray for you". I think that saying "I'll pray for you" is used too many times as an excuse to take no action to meet a physical need. It is dead faith according to James 2:17. Some Christians say that they love God and others but they don't want to be inconvenienced from their own frivolous spending to show it. If helping others means one less trip to the mall, one less outfit purchased, one less trip to a restaurant, one less day at the amusement park, or one less of aything they want then they're not interested.
Others say "I'm only one person, I can't change the world". Actually all it takes is one person doing one thing to change the world for one other person. This begins a ripple effect of change. Here are just a few of the things that one person can do to impact the world:
$1 can provide clean drinking water for one person for 1 year.
$5 is an entire day's wage in Nicaragua
$8 provides soccer balls and other sports gear
$9 feeds a hungry baby for a week
$10 provides life saving mosquito nets
$15 can provide 3 Bibles
$35 provides loving care for an orphan for a month
$60 can provide a bicycle for a pastor in Africa to travel several miles between villages
As Christians we should start each day asking God to help us see the needs of those around us. Then we must be willing and ready to take action to meet those needs. It's the second greatest command that Jesus has given us...To love one another. Be prepared to be changed when you begin to see the world as God sees. Your desire to do more will increase and you will live each day showing trying to show God's love to others around you. Are you ready to know more?
If you want a heart of sympathy Then pray to God to help you, please
See the world that Jesus sees Yeah
But be careful what you ask Him for Cause if you’re gonna open up that door
There’s no going back to before
Cause once you see a mother who can’t feed The baby that cries in her arms
Your heart will break and you’ll lay awake
No, sleep won’t come quick anymore So do you want to know?
You pass him on the way to work He holds a sign beside the curb
You look away and avoid the hurt Cause why should you be held responsible
Besides, he’ll probably just spend it all On cigarettes and alcohol
But once you see that the man on the street Has a name and a family like you
Your heart will break and you’ll lay awake
Cause you’ll understand God loves him, too
So do you want to know?
If you want a heart of sympathy Then pray to God to help you see
But once you see a world that’s in need And a sorrow you just can’t ignore
Your heart’s gonna break and you’ll lay awake
Cause you’ll know you could do so much more
Do you want to know?
~ Josh Wilson - "Do You Want to Know"
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.