March 6, 2015
READ: Psalm 34:1-22
The righteous person faces many troubles, but theÂ LORD comes to the rescue each time (v.19).
In discussing the premise of the film The Amazing Spider-Man, director Marc Webb writes, “This is the stuff of classic tragedy. It’s about trying to do good, and by virtue of trying to do good, bad things happen. It’s what [the mythical Greek king] Oedipus does—he goes out and tries to save the city, and he ends up sleeping with his mother.” Webb laughs. “His efforts are noble! But the irony of it is that he causes damage by trying to do good. That is, to me, the most resonant thing of tragedy. Spider-Man is saving people and the world, but it’s at his own expense.”
In writing about how to serve others, When Helping Hurts author Brian Fikkert says, “The . . . church should have a profound sense of urgency to spend ourselves ‘on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed.’ ”
Fikkert says we should remember, however, that “good intentions are not enough. It is possible to hurt poor people, and ourselves, in the process of trying to help them.”
I believe that every good deed I’ve been part of in East Africa, where I live, has traces of things that went wrong or were counterproductive. For example, by giving a child a scholarship to attend a school, I created a temptation for his father to stop working and providing for his son.
However, through serving, giving and doing we can play a part in expressing God’s love to others—joining Him in doing good, seeking judgement and relieving the oppressed (Isaiah 1:17). We can do the right things, even though at times imperfectly (Psalm 34:15).
May we reflect the heart of God as we reach out to those in need, living out His loving, compassionate, rescuing ways (vv.6,17-19,22).
365-day plan: Joshua 24:1-31
Read 2 Corinthians 1:9-10 to see how Paul and Timothy faced danger.
What steps can you take to follow God’s wisdom and lead in helping others? How has He rescued you?