Posted: August 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

A major struggles we face here in Haiti is knowing when and how to give.  If I gave to every person that asked, even if I were  a millionaire, it wouldn’t be enough.  Does some giving cause more harm than good? Does some giving cause dependency which stifles a sense of responsibility?  When does giving or helping hurt rather than help. Just last night, Beth and I talked about the neediness of some of the ladies in her program and how to give them lasting help.

Interestingly, Jesus in John 6 fed the 5000, but the next day when they found him for more food, he wouldn’t give it.  He instead spoke of their real need which was spiritual, and how he, Jesus, is the Bread of Life. Take time and read John 6.  Why did he fed them once but not the second time?

Clearly the Christian is called, expected by God to be a giver, a helper, one who is known for his/her good deeds and good works.  We see this in the story of the Good Samaritan and throughout the scriptures.

We in Titus 3:14 read,

And let our own [people really] learn to apply themselves to good deeds (to honest labor and honorable employment), so that they may be able to meet necessary demands [whenever the occasion may require and not be living idle and uncultivated and unfruitful lives.

And in Matthew 5: 14-16 we read,

14You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.

It isn’t my intention to be unkind or critical of others who are working to help.  I admire their commitment to travel to some of the poorest and most dangerous countries in the world because they want to help the hurting and those that are suffering.

Yet as a believer in Jesus Christ, as one commanded to spread the gospel, it isn’t enough to be a  humanitarian worker, or a giver of food, or a school teacher or a doctor caring for the sick or a builder of houses or a giver of money.  These are all good things but they must not take the place of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Simply put the good deeds or good works are not the message but they are to be in the message.  Good deeds and good works can never take the place of the  message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

John Stott writes,

Good works are indispensable to salvation – not as its ground or means, however, but as its consequence and evidence.

Imagine giving food but not sharing about the Bread of Life.  Imagine providing water but not sharing about the Living Water.  Imagine teaching but not telling about the Way, the Truth and the Life.  Imagine providing a home but not sharing about the Heavenly home that God has for those that serve him. Imagine teaching a vocational skill but not sharing about dedicating one’s life to God.  Imagine giving yet not telling of the one who sent his son and about the one who gave his life on the cross.

John 3:16

God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.

I don’t question the importance of helping and giving to alleviate the suffering of the poor. But I firmly say these things alone are not enough. We must as well tell of God’s great love and show it in how we care.  The caring, the giving, the helping is in the MESSAGE.

John McHoul


  • Help Heartline win the Giving of Life Grant. Vote HERE. It will only take a few seconds.
  • Sponsor a child from Cite Soleil to go to school. Click HERE for more information.
  • Looking for a Guest House in Haiti.  Check out the Heartline Guest House.  You’ll be glad you did.
  • Check out Haitian Creations for beautiful handmade purses and jewelry made by the Heartline ladies
  1. Sherri Healy says:

    I too have been pondering on this and even tho there is satisfaction in being the “hands and feet”, are we truly honoring God and the people we are serving if we are not teaching or leading them to Jesus along with it? Thinking about a school feeding program and if it would be possible to incorporate a bible lesson along with a meal? Grateful that God doesn’t leave us where we are but stretches us and molds us!

  2. Kathy Tonagel says:

    can we vote more tha once?

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