Encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
1 Thessalonians 5:14
Okay, I’m going to talk about Tom Cruise a little bit, so bear with me. I once dubbed Tom the greatest actor to ever grace a screen, but what I loved most about him was what he did off-screen and here are a few examples:
^ Zac Efron said that Tom taught him to ride a bike. Tom has to find time to do that.
^ Tom never forgets birthdays.
^ Billy Wilder was some sort of legendary director. There’s a long story in there, but to make it short, Tom would just listen to his stories and write him notes. When Billy passed away in 2002, Tom was at the memorial and he let everyone know how much he loved Billy.
^ Another boy was supposed to be the kid set to steal the show in Jerry Maguire, but he eventually left and Jonathan Lipnicki replaced him. A few weeks later, the boy’s mom calls Cameron Crowe (the director) to tell him to thank Tom for helping her son transition back to his normal life by sending letters and gifts. Crowe couldn’t get over why Tom didn’t tell everyone, but there was no need to shout a good deed from the rooftop.
What’s the moral of some of those stories? You don’t always need money to help someone. Sometimes, all someone might need is a listening ear or a word of advice or even a little bit of your time. Your thoughtfulness. And what if it’s money? If you’re being led to help someone by giving them money, do not selfishly give to feel better about yourself for we should give without sparing (Proverbs 21:26) while delighting in the Lord (Psalm 37:4).
Some of us are only willing to help someone in need when a reward is involved (Matthew 6:2), but our giving shouldn’t be advertised on a billboard (Matthew 6:4) as it’s supposed to be a thanksgiving to God (2 Corinthians 9:11).
We do not always know what someone may need but do not assume that it’s always money. Ask God for help to give wisely.