Preachers like me, repeatedly speak on the topic of giving. We are always encouraging people to be more generous with their resources. Recently it dawned on me that I have never talked or written about receiving resources. This came clear when I told a person where they could receive some help, and they were not willing to take it because they were “going to make it on their own.” Then it hit me that we need to let people know it is okay to accept help too.
Jesus is our model in everything, and he not only taught about giving, but he also accepted the help of others. Think about it; he received housing as he had no home. He took meals from other people. His ministry welcomed money to support the work. People like Mary, Martha, and Lazarus supported his mission in all these ways. And Jesus gladly accepted it.
The Apostle Paul worked as a tentmaker and often did not need others’ help, but sometimes he did. He accepted financial assistance, food, and shelter as he traveled about the country preaching. Paul was not always willing to welcome others’ generosity when he felt there were strings attached, but most of the time, he was ready to take whatever people gave him.
For someone to be generous, someone else must allow them to share their resources.
Throughout my ministry, I have seen two extremes. First, there are a group of people who are always asking for a handout. They waste more than they are given. This group must have accountability and financial planning in their life. Second, there are a group of people who need help but will not accept it. Their pride and ego stand in the way of them ever getting any handout or gift. Unfortunately, one side is as wrong as the other.
When life gets tough and you struggle to make ends meet, it is okay to ask for help. You allow others to be generous, and both of you will be blessed. You are not somehow more righteous for rejecting the aid of others. You are allowing the Church to be the community God created it to be.