Love may be unconditional, it is. But don’t give it irresponsibly.
When we help needy saints around, say like giving packs of rices, we give it to them unconditionally. Every family receives their share of benefits. Everyone is happy as the ekklesia meets their needs. We work hard here and trying to sell from our store. Everyone works from their specific skills and talent not just to reach their full potential but also to seek God’s kingdom by serving others. As God’s people help meet our needs, we also help meet other God’s people’s needs. It’s how it is in the kingdom-life, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:4). It’s a life of sharing, serving, sacrificing, and yes, denying. All of this is good for all God’s people.
Here comes the hard part and what was most churches have left out.
We went in to one of the communities that we develop into an apostolic hub (Acts 2&4 Life-Together) and begin helping them, this time is not about giving rices but providing them toilets, deep wells and other projects such as barrel planters to provide food for their families. We brought our power tools and materials needed to do the job and encourage the people in the community to give us a hand but not all of them offered their time. One family refuses me to use electricity power. “I will pay of course, just let me know how much.” I said. But still the wife wouldn’t let me. “I think I saw your face a couple of times accepting my rice with your open hands, right?” Still she wouldn’t let me.
“Jomie,” I shared directly this learning experience for him to see some differences in giving out our love irresponsibly, “many who wants mutual benefits but not mutual responsibility. If we have done it the traditional ways we would never know these stuff because what they mostly do is give, give, give unconditionally to make these people will be happy and all they required to do is show up in church on Sunday’s. But if we give them responsibilities it is when we know who they really are. We are not here to impress these people with what we can do. If we do it like Jesus we cannot do anything for her because she lacks faith. She has faith to receive of which anyone can but not faith to share what she has. We are here to test them in little things to see if they can be trusted in the things of God later on. Their actions today determines their functions in the hub tomorrow. This is reality.” Several saints help us do the work although everyone wants a toilet to be place in their own houses.
Widows on their 60’s are the exemption, we should help them without giving them work. The ekklesia here took the responsibility to pay their electricity bills. We send food and medicines around or they come and pick it up. But to those who are able to work, not disabled person but can work with their own hands, we should give them work so as not to be a burden to others. I normally say to disciples coming here, “Did you bring any chickens or rice or bread? You should you know, co’z whenever you come to see us as your extended family you ate my food and drunk my coffee of which another person is paying it, another disciple is going to the market, another one is cooking it, the little girls is preparing the tables and washed your plates after. Others planted vegetables at the back and others watered it. Everyone is serving one another and you should also. And since you come empty-handed why not help me with what I plan to do right now?”
One time a disciple came and no matter how Albert is trying to entice him to do something, all he wants to do is borrow Albert’s iPod and using computer. And not for long, that disciple went home saying goodbye to me. “What happen Albert?” I inquire with curiosity.
“Oh, i pulled the plug!” he said.
“Good on yah Albert.” I admire his wisdom.
Yes we made many disciples around and we ‘equip them in every good work’ as much as we can. I don’t want a hundred disciples who are all lazy and wants mutual benefits but not mutual responsibilities. “He who does not work, does not eat.”
Another disciple came and saw me harvesting my tomatoes. “Wow kuya, i love tomatoes,” he said, “that’s my favourite. Can i have some?”
“Really? Where were you when I planted these?” I ask him bluntly. “I do remember you when I planted these with my own hands. I did asked you to help me and now you want some?” I ended up giving him just five pieces for his family.
Love unconditionally, but don’t give irresponsibly.