In part one and two, we went through our responsibility as Christians and the church to embrace humanity and cater to the needs of others. This is our mandate, and should be our focus.
People have various needs; and monetary donation is not the only channel to meet such needs. Needs can be physical, emotional, mental/ intellectual or spiritual. As Christians we must be able to identify the needs of people around us, positioning ourselves to meet such needs as much as we can and referring them to appropriate channels where we are not in the position to help.
Physical needs can be catered for by meeting the particular material need of the individual such as money, clothing, shoes or other physical and tangible needs. You may also empower an individual to be able to adequately sponsor himself in these areas e.g. by setting up a business or engaging them in a skill acquisition programme. The latter is actually better! It is unchristian to make men perpetually dependent on you in helping them!
Emotional needs can be addressed by giving a listening ear, showing care, encouragement or acts of agape love, but should be done with utmost caution. Many have won people to Christ just by being there for them and showing Christ’s love in great dimensions. It is of this that Jesus says ‘Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father who is in heaven’- (Matt 5:16).
Spiritual needs can be met by intercessory prayers or prayers of agreement with someone going through a difficulty. Remember ‘the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much’- (James 5:16b). Your prayer for or with a person can be the force that will transform his life and save him from impending danger or difficult situations. Instead of gossiping about his shortcomings, spend time in prayer over his life. PRAYER CHANGES EVERYTHING!
In conclusion, let’s all work towards meeting the needs of those around us however we can, whenever we can. We can find fulfillment in transforming lives and making a difference in the world, if we just open our hearts to looking beyond ourselves or things that are temporal to the things that are eternal.