Have you had faith but got flustered and missed a chance to for good works? As Christians our goal is, as James teaches, to have faith and works. That is, good works to go along with our faith.
Sometimes in life things happen so quickly we get flustered. Is this a genuine opportunity to serve someone, or are we about to be scammed?
We’ll talk about this on this week’s Grace and Peace Radio podcast in a new segment called, What Would YOU Do?
Anthony Russo 0:00
As Christians, we want to apply the Word of God and obey it in every area of our lives. Sometimes things happen in life that catch us off guard and we’re not quite sure what to do. We’ll talk about an example of that today on Grace and Peace Radio.
Anthony Russo 0:18
Welcome to Grace and Peace Radio. Thy kingdom Comma is an evangelical Christian blog and podcast, encouraging Christians in their biblical worldview, their commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to active participation in the further into His kingdom for great condition. Thanks for joining us for today’s episode. I’m your host, Anthony Russo. And it’s my hope that you will be encouraged and God will be glorified. With that, let’s start the show.
Anthony Russo 0:52
Gonna introduce a new segment for us now here on Grace and Peace Radio, and it’s called “What would you do?” and it’s called “What would you do?” because I encountered a situation and I wasn’t sure what to do. And so I asked you, “What would you do?” Let me tell you what happened.
Anthony Russo 1:11
So, recently I was in downtown Greenville. And my wife and I were there and walking around and this lady stops us and says, I’m not asking for money. I’m hungry. Would you buy me a meal? And, you know, I looked at her and she didn’t look completely. Oh, how do I say it? Like disheveled and everything. I mean, she looked kind of pretty well made up, I guess. I was almost surprised that she was asking and then I looked at my wife and my wife looking at her and then looks at me and you know, so we’re just kind of all on this three way stand off. I really, really wasn’t sure what to do. I finally just told her, “I’m sorry, no, no.” She was fine with it. She just said OK and just kept on walking.
Anthony Russo 2:16
And the sad thing about it is my wife and I literally stepped into a restaurant and had lunch. Obviously, you know, it bothered me, but I didn’t know what to do. So let me ask you this: So what would you do? If you were me, what would you have done? Would you have and I had no cash on me. So that wasn’t an option. Would you have invited her to sit down with you and have a meal together? I honestly I don’t think there would have been any harm in doing that. It would have been fine.
Anthony Russo 2:55
I’ve been I bought meals for people before and then I got, not “yelled at” but scolded by the manager saying, “Hey, please don’t do that. We know you mean well, but that person is always here asking for meals from people. And we’re trying to discourage that.” So I’ve gotten in trouble for buying meals in the past. So but what would you have bought the meal? Would you have said no.
Anthony Russo 3:19
And then also, you know, of course, I’m thinking of James, right? In James 2:14-17, he says
Anthony Russo 3:29
“What good is it my brothers if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly close and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body? What good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
Anthony Russo 3:53
Now, I thought of the whole be warm and be fed thing and it didn’t occur to me that James is saying, if a brother or sister is poorly closed, so or lacking in food, so he’s talking about a brother or sister. And yeah, I know you can apply it generally as well. So anyway, I really wasn’t sure what to do.
Anthony Russo 4:19
So what would you have done? Email me at Anthony at graceandpeaceradio dot com, and tell me what you would have done. So in the end, what I ended up doing was, we ended up having lunch, just, you know, my wife and I, and I prayed. I said, Lord, if I messed up, if I sinned, if I should have bought this lady lunch, would you please have her walk past the restaurant? And I’ll invite her in.
Anthony Russo 4:50
Because I had a view of the window. I could see everybody going by, and she never did. So I’m not saying that that was the Lord. I’m not saying, you know, he was saying “No, you did the right thing.” I’m just saying she never did. So I was open to correction but it didn’t happen. So maybe the moment just passed? I don’t know.
Anthony Russo 5:14
But yeah, those are the kinds of things that we wrestle with as believers. There are a lot of scams that go on, and you just don’t know what to do. And unfortunately, I think to the other issue is, in our day, we as the church are so removed from taking care of people taking care of the homeless, churches don’t run orphanages anymore, and all these sorts of things. So I think we as Christians, as American Christians, we’re, we really don’t know how to handle it.
Anthony Russo 5:44
I mean, literally, we’re not. I don’t want to say we’re not trained because, you know, you don’t have to be trained to buy somebody’s lunch. But, you know, we as the church, we’re just not in that habit of mercy ministry anymore. But we’re not. I mean, I just last month, I was looking on a bunch of websites to see what the church websites to see what did they do to reach out to the community. And so many of the sites that I went to, yeah, they talk about small groups, community groups, life groups, whatever you want to call them. But I think only one that I looked at, had any kind of mercy ministry.
Anthony Russo 6:26
One of them was very, very particular about, you pretty much had 15 minutes after the Sunday service to get your request in and had to be filled out just so. And there had to be a utility bill attached, and all these sort of stipulations to it. We’re just kind of out of practice on that. If somebody asks for money, you don’t want to, you don’t want to be scammed. You don’t want them to use it for for drugs or whatever. But you also don’t want to seem heartless about it.
Anthony Russo 6:55
If you have any experience with this, what would you do? Or what do you do? In some places, you can’t even feed the homeless anymore. That’s really hard. You can’t even go out with a bunch of sandwiches and give them sandwiches, mercy ministry in the 21st century here in America kind of hard.
Anthony Russo 7:12
If I had the opportunity to do it all over again, what I would like to do is have a couple of gift cards in my wallet. I think that’s what I’ll do from now on, I’ll just go get some gift cards from subway or one of the other, you know, fast food places or something and at least have something to give them. You know, of course, the obvious thing is, we should have just taken her to lunch, we should have just went with it and taken her to lunch. But, again, you know, it’s not the kind of thing that happens every day, and we were just both caught off guard.
Anthony Russo 7:47
Ultimately, as believers, we just have to rest in the sovereignty of God. We have to trust that if God gives us an opportunity, and we blow it, like I probably did, Jesus will work through someone else for his task, and we can rest in that. And we asked him, Lord, if I have sinned, please show me my sin. Help me to repent, teach me from it, grow me from it. Make me more loving and kind and charitable and giving and use it in my life to make me more compassionate the next time.
Anthony Russo 8:25
If you’ve got ideas on how to show compassion, how to do mercy ministry, right, where it doesn’t slide into the social justice, the you know, the social gospel, or your church is doing it. I would love to hear your story. I would love to have some tips for other listeners. So if you’ve got any experience in that, and you want to talk about it, email me, Anthony at graceandpeaceradio.com, and let’s talk because I think there’s a need here there’s a real need for us as the body of Christ to do what we’re called to do, which is, yes, we give people the gospel. But if we have an opportunity to meet their physical needs, we need the wisdom to do it right.
Anthony Russo 9:10
Well, I hope this has been an encouragement to you as we look to put our faith into practice, as James says to have both faith and works.
Anthony Russo 9:22
Well, that wraps up our show for today. Be sure to join us next time as we dig deeper into God’s word. Apply it to our lives. If you’ve enjoyed what you heard, please tell others you can visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/GraceandPeaceRadio or you can visit us on the web at GraceandPeaceRadio.com. Until next time, I’m your host, Anthony Russo. And Jesus changed my life.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai