Doing Good, Reducing Pain
Jesus reduced the suffering and pain of those around Him. The Scripture says that it “was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.’” (Matthew 8:17). In a similar way, Jesus wants His followers to reduce the pain and suffering of those around them. It may be that of our neighbors, or clients, or society, in general. It might even be people who live in another country.
After describing in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) the character qualities Jesus wants to be in His people, He said that His followers would best influence their world by being salt and light. In fact, He stated that His followers were the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world”.
Before the invention of refrigerators, meats were preserved by sprinkling salt on them. In a similar fashion, Jesus has sprinkled our Charity’s partners among the masses of India and Rwanda so that people who are still separated from Him will hear the message of Christ.
Salt also enhances taste (unless you add too much salt). The lives of our orphans, widows and lepers are better because our partners are sprinkling the love of Christ on them.
Walk into a dark room and the first thing you do is turn on a light. Besides not tripping, you can see what needs to be cleaned. Because our partners follow Christ, their lives are exposing the sin and corruption around them, and pagans don’t like that. The partners are not attempting to draw attention to themselves, but to point people to God. Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
TWO WINGS OF THE GOSPEL
Some make a distinction between the social gospel and the spiritual gospel. We are to proclaim that people can be free of sin, but we are to also help them in practical ways. James pointed this out when he said, “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2:15–16). We lose our saltiness and brightness when we make the Gospel just one or the other. It is BOTH.
Our partners in Rwanda and India are employing both wings of the gospel as they provide food and shelter and convey the message of Christ. We are privileged as a charity to have these men and women to be our hands and feet in their countries.