Doing Your Duty
That said; allow me to present a situation to you.
You are in a restaurant and hear bit of a commotion at the door. Looking over you see the greeter/manager/maitre-d telling an obviously homeless man to leave since he is not a paying customer. It is freezing cold outside. This individual is unkempt and dirty. This individual is moving rather slowly and protesting that he just needs to warm up for a bit, and could he please have just a few minutes?
A- Do nothing?
B- Feel sorry for him?
C- Tell the manager to have a heart and let the guy warm up?
D- Tel the manager that he is your guest and he will be dining with you, then bring him to your table and let him order some food at your expense?
The correct answer is D. The unfortunate fact is that the vast majority of people will only do A or B, while nearly all of the rest stop at C. For some reason, even the most tender-hearted among us tend to be unwilling to engage in fellowship with the truly destitute.
I despise every form of Socialism and Communism. However, I believe deeply in personal charity. God blesses us so that we may be a blessing to others . . . period.
It is sheer greed and heartlessness that stops us from caring for our fellow man the way we should. We have no excuse not to. Take me for example. I get $2,500 deposited in my bank account every month after taxes. This does not include my wife’s paycheck or the money I am now paid to live off-base. What is it to me to spend $10 or $20 to feed someone who desperately needs it? I make over 200 times that amount every month. I make more than enough money to take care of my needs and most of my wants. I don’t even have to give anything up to bless some needy person with some food or warm clothing. Charity is just too easy.
For my Christian readers I want to remind you that Jesus Christ Himself commanded us to care for the poor, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, and to visit those in prison. Remember to do it, and to do it willingly and cheerfully. And while you’re at it don’t be afraid to make a friend out of who you are helping. Most of the truly needy need friends just as much as they need food, clothing, and shelter. Remember also that inhospitality is one of the crimes the people of Sodom and Gomorrah committed that caused God to rain fire and brimstone on those cities and lay waste to that area so thoroughly that it remains a desolate place to this day.
For everyone else I want to appeal to your sense of decency. I want to remind you that one day it could be you who is needy. I want to urge you do right by your fellow man.
This is not to say that we must give and give and give to the lazy and ungrateful. If you offer help and it is refused then you are relieved of your duty at that moment. If you help someone who then hurts or insults you for it, you are not bound to keep allowing that person to hurt or insult you. Your kindness is better spent elsewhere.
This said; forced governmental charity, like welfare, is a bad thing because the way it is set up it enables the lazy and ungrateful to live well at the expense of the rest of us. It also removes us from the deep personal sacrifice and face-to-face attachment, and even the chance to witness to the needy. I say let those of us with a heart for the poor do the work to care for them. I say encourage EVERYONE to do their own part.
This is right.
Do your duty.