Sharing the Wealth
by: Ellene Meece
With global economic strain rampant, a Christian heart always searches how to help others. Even though many of us are experiencing financial strain ourselves, we still count our blessings and desire to help those less fortunate than ourselves.
But, how can we really help the poor?
How can we effectively share with others what we have?
We've seen vast government spending dished out around the world to relieve poverty. Numerous non-profit groups, including churches, continually stretch their dollars to reach out to hurting neighbors. Food pantries, rescue missions, homeless shelters, and other entities organized by caring individuals strive to meet the challenge of poverty. How successful are our efforts?
In an article entitled, "Why You Should Never Give to the Poor," the Editor in Chief of "Pick the Brain - Grow Yourself" related a story of selfless giving and building a new water system by a caring group to an area in Africa where the water and living conditions had been horrific. Only a few months later, another humanitarian group visited the area to learn from their example how to duplicate this endeavor. However, to their surprise, they found all the water systems in disrepair and the living conditions worse than before.
After seeking out the tribal chief of the area, the chief explained: "How can you blame us? We are simple people who know nothing of modern machinery. The others came and bestowed it upon us, and it was a great relief. But after they left, things began to break down. We do not possess the knowledge to repair these problems, and the result is before you."
The humanitarians then questioned the chief about the water stations that had clearly been abused asking him if the people didn't have the common sense to protect their own assets.
At this the chief looked at them cockeyed and replied, "And what did you expect? These people had been many years without clean water. Then you gave it to them for free in abundance. They took all they could use and more. The people did not work for those water stations. They do not own them, and they could not be persuaded to maintain them."
The perplexed group pondered his words and came up with a new plan: they invited the villagers to work with them to rebuild the equipment and stations and restore fresh water supply and also learn how to maintain their systems. Then, the villagers began paying for their fresh water at an affordable rate. Today, the villagers enjoy plenty of clean water and have maintained their ability to keep their source of supply.
The truth of this story can be applied all over the world. Exclusively sharing financial gifts with the underprivileged without caring enough to teach them how to survive and replicate income tends to develop an unhealthy dependency. This in turn can leave people with the worse condition of believing they do not possess their own ability to create wealth.
Jesus, proclaiming His mission on earth said, "The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach (teach) the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity" (Luke 4:18; Amplified).
You've heard the saying, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life."
Faith Ministries International Network has determined to set ourselves apart as a teaching-mentoring, relational network. Early on, we knew the opportunities to give financially to the poor were unending. So, during those formative days, it was determined that rather than become another's source of money supply, we would like to primarily become a source of replicating the true gospel to everyone who wished to join with us to build relationships, mentor our brothers and sisters in the Lord, and share the hope that is within us.
Our Network continues to this day to sacrificially give time and personal visits to hundreds of countries; supply books, audio and video teachings; bring life-changing youth camps to other countries and also train each country how to organize a youth camp themselves; conduct entrepreneurial workshops; give and train in medical care and share endless other resources to teach the world . . . to fish.
Giving to the poor is commendable, but giving yourself to the poor is exceptional. Sharing the wealth that is within you to give others hope will always perpetuate itself. Determine to share true wealth today.
Ellene Meece lives in Meeker, Colorado and works with her husband in their natural resource company while running her own online store, Grandma's Treasures Online. Currently, she oversees the marketing for the FMIN Workplace Leaders Network.
Pick the Brain.com blog
So right is your article on helping the poor. I allowed my emotion to get ahead of me for many years and the result has been unbelievable. I have since learned to harness my emotion and feel I cannot play God in anyone's life but allow them to let God be God in their lives.
by: Mary Mensah
Empowering others to do for themselves with a hand up not just a hand out is crucial. God says "the poor will always be among you therefore, I command you saying,' You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy in your land.' Deut 15:11
by: Barbara Collins @madreminutes
Set your mind and heart to seek (inquire of and require as your vital necessity) the Lord your God...”
(1 Chronicles 22:19 )
What things do you consider a vital necessity in your life? In other words, what can’t you live without? Most people would immediately think of food, water and shelter; but in reality, we can’t really live unless our minds and hearts are set on seeking the Lord. Sure, you can exist without seeking Him, but you are called to more than just mere existence. You are called to live...to thrive...to enjoy your life abundantly! The good news is that you have complete control over what you set your mind and heart on. You decide what you think about.
by: enock ondara