Humanity connotes different things to different people. To some, it simply means ‘being human’ i.e. our fallibility. To others, it connotes core areas that actually define our humanity such as love, hope, fear and faith, and cuts across acts of love and care for mankind, the needy and under privileged.
Relating this concept to the church, both as Christians who make up the body and the church as an organisation, humanity is something important which by all means should not be ignored.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”- (Matt. 22: 37-40 (KJV))
Obedience to these commandments is something we need to work towards and it requires us to check our everyday choices and actions. Even the heathen get it, donating millions to charity each year, while we, who are Christ’s very representatives on earth, fold our arms and pump funds into objects of no eternal value.
Think about this: If you have some money and there are many things on your list which you don’t necessarily need, such as upgrading your phone quarterly or changing your wardrobe monthly, but your neighbour comes to you with a sincere need, what will you do? Will you go ahead to feed your want which is actually nothing but an empty desire or will you be noble enough to do something that will transform this person’s life. What would Jesus do in this circumstance? Selah!
Don’t get me wrong, it is good to be rich and prosperous. Yes! It is good to acquire the latest gadgets you need and ensure that you are well dressed at all times; but if you fail to use your riches for the Kingdom mandate, there lies the salient issue. You can work hard to acquire wealth, but in the end what you do with it is what actually matters. Always remember, the one reason you have been blessed is not just for yourself alone but so that you can be a blessing to others.
“And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12: 2-3 (KJV))
When we are blessed of God, in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., ‘... we are challenged to rise above the narrow confines of individualistic concerns to broader concerns of all humanity.' There is no eternal value in us refusing to bless others with what we have been blessed with. We just need to open our hearts to become sensitive to the needs of those around us and meeting those needs.
The parable of Lazarus and the rich man brings this into proper perspective. After years of refusing to share even the crumbs that fell off his table with Lazarus, the rich man ended up begging Lazarus who was in Abraham’s bosom for just some drops of water after death had changed their fates. At this time, the wealth he took so much time acquiring was of no value at all. We need to remind ourselves that we can’t take any of our physical possessions with us when we are gone; we will only be remembered by what we have done.
“Lay not for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth or rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”-( Matt 6: 19-21 (KJV))
In Matthew 19:16-22, when the Young ruler asked Jesus how he may have eternal life, he was shocked and discouraged by Jesus’ answer: ‘Go, sell what you have and give to the poor and follow me’. This ruler had kept all the commandments faithfully, but when it came to the area of giving, he shuddered. This scenario makes us question where his heart really was. What do you have your heart set on? Where is your treasure stored up? Heaven or Earth?