The recent earthquake in Haiti has revealed that most of the people who lost everything had nearly nothing before the quake even occurred. For one to go from having no house to losing what little sanctuary he or she claimed amidst the filthy street corners and disease-infested water is barely something I can empathize with.
The term “take for granted” comes up often when events like this occur and, quite frankly, I dare say that most of us don’t know how good we have it, even in the current economy. I am humbled in knowing that I am one of the few richest people on earth, even at a wage that I consider to be quite humble.
Even so, I don’t own a home worth boasting about, but I certainly have warmth and food and a hope for what tomorrow brings… you get the idea. But I am thankful, and I am wise enough to know that all the material things I possess stand on shaky ground. In an instant, I could lose everything… my home, my health, my family…God forbid.
But I give God glory, because He has a sovereign plan. He allows bad things to happen for a greater purpose. I wouldn’t be so bold as to suggest what God’s intentions are for allowing the earthquake in Haiti, but I do know that His thoughts are above our thoughts and His ways above our ways. (Isaiah 55:5) Maybe He’s working on getting our attention, perhaps, to reveal who we are as a people and as individuals.
I’ve heard it said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort & convenience, but where his heart stands when no one’s watching.” I don’t know where this is from, but anything that sings truth is worth contemplating.
In the context of Haiti, could I spare a dollar or two to help a portion of humanity? Would I miss a meal to feed another, particularly someone on another part of the globe that I’ve never met, seen, nor heard? Would I sacrifice my own comfort for a day to give someone else a mere moment of relief? Or would I instead wait and give out of my abundance…you know… make sure I have enough to take care of myself before having any concern for another? And either way, would I need an acknowledgement from the world to make it feel worth my while? Or would I do it in secret, not needing to take credit for my deed?
Matthew 6:1-3 says that we should not do our deeds before men, lest we lose our reward in Heaven. Not that we should concern ourselves with a reward, but what if we are sincere in our selfless efforts? On the other hand, if we give out of our abundance so that we do not suffer, have we, in are heart’s deepest intention, really given anything at all?
Bottom line is, whether we give or don’t give, I believe our inner-most self-worth is revealed through our motive and our willingness to get uncomfortable for the sake of someone else. If we don’t give out of the mere intention of helping another soul, then what is it that we’re expecting to gain? Kudos? Satisfaction in knowing that we did a good deed in the sight of men? And if we give of our abundance and cling to our immediate indulgences, what kind of price tag are we putting on ourselves?
“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” – Matthew 16:26
Like I said, I wouldn’t dare suggest that I know what God intends with the recent devastation in Haiti, but hasn’t it already moved mankind to selfless action?
What are your thoughts?