“Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?”
– James 4:11-12
Perhaps the woman who has four kids and no husband doesn’t need a lesson in purity – maybe she just needs a friend and someone to help babysit while she goes out and gets a job.
Maybe the family who has stopped attending church doesn’t need a lesson on how to stay strong in the faith – they just need a car to get there because there isn’t one.
And perhaps even the ones who need something to eat for the day don’t need a lesson in finances – they need someone to help them by giving.
All too many times I see in the church that they’re more than willing to give advice and lessons on ‘how to be a better Christian;’ yet, I don’t see how any of them are making an attempt to give what people need most. The poor don’t need finance classes, they need someone to help support them before they wither away. The handicapped or the needy don’t need you to send them to some government agency or other place to get ‘help’ – isn’t that what the church is for? Wasn’t the entire purpose of the body of Christ to be the hands and feet of God – a safe-hold for the needy, homeless, widows, and orphans.
Today, the best the church seems to do is a good advice center.
“Well, if you need money, you need to work on your finances and try to get them in order.”
Perhaps there are no finances to get in order?
“If you need something to eat, there’s a food pantry a few miles down the road.”
Maybe there’s no way to get there, and if there is, how long is canned soup going to hold over a family of five?
“If you need someone to talk to, there’s a center that sometimes gives out free counseling.”
Maybe they just need a friend to know that God still loves her.
What ever happened to Jesus being the least of these? So often in church, the people who are the most helped are those who have the most connections, money, bring the most food to the church picnics, and have the highest authority.
The single-mothers, the poor, the needy, the handicapped, and the lost are the least on the list of people to help. Everyone assumes that if they give advice or say, ‘I’m praying for you!’ somehow things will get fixed and they no longer need to help be the hands and feet to God.
How is it one person can say, “You need a plan to get your life in order. God is a good idea, but, you need something else. I’m praying for you!”? God answers prayers through the body of Christ. When the body turns away from it’s obligation to help those who need it, God’s plans and attempts to help are destroyed.
The modern Christian loves to pray, yet forgets to act. They think it’s a way out of having to help. If you pray, God gets the request, and now it’s on him to help.
Don’t get me wrong, Jesus prayed. A lot. However, he laid out prayer much different than we do. He sat in solitude and prayed to God in a way of worshiping him.
Jesus never prayed to God to help cure the leaper or heal the sick.
Jesus went and did it himself.
If the new way of tapping out of being the hands and feet of God is to ‘pray’ about things and hope that God solves it instead of you – then no wonder why the world is slipping to a place worse off than it is now.
We love to sit and judge from this ‘almighty throne’ and claim that God has given us eyes to see. We love to ‘pray’ for the world and step out of it and tell God to do his job.
Maybe the reason why the world is where it is today is simply because the workers have left the field to tell the master to go out and work it.