Help All, Not Just Some

Romans 12:13
13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Paul doesn’t mince words–he tells us, in his straightforward manner, that we need to be concerned with the welfare of other believers. But the second part of the verse expands that concept into practicing hospitality, which is a much wider-reaching act.

Hospitality is not just reserved for those who are “good enough” Christians or “close enough” to your family. It’s also for those who don’t know God, those who have turned away from God, and those who believe He doesn’t even exist. We are called by God to show His grace and mercy to every person–not just tell about that grace and do nothing.

My NIV translation notes that “the Christian has a social responsibility” to help others, because showing God’s forgiveness and mercy is a wonderful witness. For a believer to receive help from their church family after storm damage is an astounding blessing, for instance. But for someone who doesn’t know God–or doesn’t care to know Him–that act of help could be the one thing that changes their minds about Christians and our faith.

Paul tells us to share with other believers in need as part of expressing our Christian love for them, as Christ expressed His love for us. But Christ also reached out to those whom the disciples would not listen to, whom the disciples tried to turn away–He ate with tax collectors, touched lepers, and spoke kindly to those accused of crimes, all to show that God still loved them. We need to do the same, if we call ourselves Christians.

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