As a Financial Advisor, I am fully aware that many people are bridging this gap with credit cards and Home Equity Loans. I also know that the State pays Unemployment Benefits for a season, as small as that might be. With all of that however, fear is running rampant in many peoples lives. Fathers are feeling inept losing their jobs, and mothers are feeling insufficient. I have talked with several people who are going through divorces due to the strain that losing their jobs has put on their marriage.
The question that arises is quite simple. What are WE doing to help offset this? Many people have grown quiet during this time. We retreat inside our homes and don't wish to reach out to those that are experiencing financial hardships. The mentality is to hoard our possessions in case something terrible happens to us. We want to safeguard our lives and family from the "Worst Case Scenario." Let's say that you are a saver and still have your job, but your neighbor doesn't, and didn't have the foresight to save. Is it our responsibilty to place blame or reject helping others?
A dear friend of mine e-mailed me this week that he has been praying about helping a friend of his that is going through a hard time due to a job loss. He was sharing this scripture verse with me, "Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, 'Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?" James 2:15-16 (NIV)
This really opened my eyes. How many of us are verbally wishing people well, and sending them on their way, without stretching out a hand of help? Years ago, we would have said, "Come on, we are Americans. We will reach a helping hand out to our neighbors." That is right we are! Even more than being Americans though, we should be Christians reaching out as Christ would have. I am speaking this from convictions that the Lord has also layed on my heart. I need to learn to sacrifice more, and let the Lord's compassion flow through me.
In this season of Thanksgiving, what are you and your family GOING to do in order to let Jesus shine through you to others. I have heard of people taking their family to soup kitchens, and fasting food that day so that they can empathize with the people they are serving. Still others are cooking turkeys and taking them to families that can't afford one this year. Others are making contributions to foreign mission funds. All of these are great and I will more than likely partake in them as well. The challenge for all of us is simple: Do not just do this in November, because it is the Thanksgiving season. We have to have a change of life and heart style where we are participating in these activities year round, because it is what the Lord requires of us...