Christians are the most generous, giving people on earth. That’s because they recognize that they themselves have been given so much. Without the grace of God, the gift of his only begotten Son, and the amazing sacrifice that Jesus made for his people, Christians would be lost. They get that. They also know that their Master set an example of giving, and expects his followers to do likewise.
The teaching and example of Jesus Christ has had unparalleled influence upon great benefactors for the last 2000 years. Christians, and people influenced by Christianity, give more to those in need than do anyone else. Their charitable giving is sometimes disbelieved by the taxing authorities, because it is so extraordinary. It is not unusual to hear of Christians being audited by the IRS because their charitable deductions were doubted. I know of no case where such audits resulted in a disallowance of the claimed deductions. But I do know of auditors who were amazed at the benevolent attitudes and actions of Christians.
The Central Church of Christ here in Martinsburg, West Virginia is one example of charitable-minded, extraordinarily generous givers. I have been amazed over and over at the extent to which this fact has been borne out in practice. When needs arise, so do God’s people, and they do so with deeds as well as good intentions. To Christians, the Bible says, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us work that which is good toward all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith,” (Gal. 6:10). Although it is focused there, Christian benevolence is not limited to members of the Lord’s church. Doing good “to all men” is a broad duty, but to the Christian it is more than a duty – it is a sacred privilege. And it comes naturally to children of God, who have received such grace themselves. Christians, like their Master, spend their lives “going about doing good,” (Acts 10:38; Mt. 4:23).
When devastation strikes, Christians are touched in their hearts. Like Jesus, theirs is a mindset of compassion, (Mt. 9:36). When others are hurting, Christians want to respond, they want to help, in their empathy they feel the pain of others and they seek to assist. This is why the very best counselors, nurses, physicians, attorneys, judges, firefighters, soldiers, EMTs, dentists, and all other problem-solvers, are Christians! Ask yourself, who would I rather have helping me? Personally, without exception, I long for the child of God who understands and cares about the pain and suffering of others.
Before us we have another splendid opportunity to help those in need. Our elders have decided that on the fifth Sunday of January, 2022, all funds contributed that day above our weekly budget will be forwarded to our brethren in Kentucky, who are suffering from the devastating storms which struck there in the early hours of December 11th. I know that the congregation here will rise to the challenge of this opportunity.
I want to emphasize that this decision was not made lightly. As you know, the congregation here is in the midst of a challenging capital campaign, and we are giving and working hard to bring about the means for needed expansion of our building and parking. Your contributions to that campaign have been exceptional to say the least. But this calamity is great, and the need is urgent. As He gives us abilities and opportunities, we will not forget our Master’s example. We thank God for the blessings He has so richly bestowed upon us, especially the spiritual blessings in Christ that we enjoy daily. Our prayer is that we can render some meaningful assistance to others in their hour of need.
-by Robert C. Veil, Jr.