How to Shine: Help

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Previously, we looked at a simple way to let God’s light shine through you, and that is to smile. Show the happiness that you have through your salvation by showing your happiness.

So now here is another way to shine God’s light:

HELP

To some people, helping others seems like an easy thing to do. To others, who are perhaps less outgoing, helping others can seem like a chore, or perhaps even an unpleasant task.

However, according to the Bible we have a God-given responsibility to help others who are in need. In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the story of separating the sheep from the goats, with the sheep being those who have fed the hungry, given water to the thirsty, shown hospitality to the strangers, clothed the needy, cared for the sick, and visited those in prison, saying that whatever anyone has done for the least of those in need was an act toward Jesus himself. Those who have done this will receive an eternal reward, according to Jesus. And conversely, those who did not help those in need will be sent to eternal punishment.

Elsewhere in the Bible, James 1:27 tells us, “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” From this, we can see that religion is so much more than just showing up at a worship service a few times a week. Pure religion is actually helping others while keeping ourselves pure instead of fitting in with the rest of the world.

So how do we help others? What is it that we are supposed to do for others? Are we expected to do something great, or something that is beyond what we can reasonably do? Not at all. It can be something big, or it can be something small, Peter tells us in 1 Peter 4:10, “Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God.” God has given each of us gifts to do different things. He does not expect more of us than what He has given us. If you can do something big, then that is great. But if you can do something small, that is fine, too.

Helping others could be something as simple as taking a meal to someone who is sick, or visiting someone in the hospital. Or helping a friend move. Or just sharing a kind word. It does not have to be anything incredibly large, although it may turn out to be quite large to the person that you are helping. Whatever small act you do may be just the thing that shows them the love that God has given to us, His love that we are passing on to others.

This can be difficult for those who consider themselves not to be outgoing. But it is what God expects us to do. And He even tells us that he will help us. Right after 1 Peter 4:10 that tells us that we should use the gifts God has given us, we find this in verse 11: “If anyone serves, it should be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything.” God will give us the strength to do what He wants us to do. Similarly, Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” God’s Spirit in us gives us power, as long as we let that Spirit work in us.

If you find yourself feeling uncertain about being able to help someone, just say a prayer to God, take a deep breath, and take that first step. In the end, you will not regret it, and you will be storing up treasures for yourself in heaven by the things that you are doing to help other people. While it will be a blessing to those that you help, it will also be a blessing to you. And once you see how easy it is to help someone and how good you feel after doing so, you will have an even easier time the next time you see a need. Pretty soon, it will be natural for you, so that you won’t have any trouble at all. It just takes a little practice, taking that first step.

It is important, however, to remember just why it is that we are helping others. Although we can definitely receive short-term rewards, as well as eternal rewards, we should remember that the real reason we are helping others is to serve God. Going back to 1 Peter 4:11, we are reminded that we are serving others “so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” And in Matthew 5:16, Jesus tells us, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

We are not letting our lights shine for our own glory, but rather we are shining our lights so that God will be praised. So don’t be afraid of helping others. Instead, help others to let your light shine! And God will be glorified when you do.

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