Enduring Harvey these last few days has been surreal, to say the least. Before this week, I’d never had the number to the Coast Guard sitting on my kitchen counter, just in case my family may need to be rescued from high floodwater. The devastation is far-reaching, and efforts to rebuild will last for months and even years to come. I know there are already a ton of thoughts, blog posts, and articles floating around the Internet regarding this tragic situation, and I’m going to add a few more:
- “[The Father] sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45).
If you didn’t get water in your house during this storm it doesn’t mean you have more faith than your neighbor. I actually read some social media posts this week from people who implied that if you have enough faith in Christ, your home won’t flood. That’s what many people call the “Prosperity Gospel,” and that type of teaching just isn’t biblical. I know many faithful believers who lost everything these past few days. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away according to His will and for His good pleasure. Our faith has nothing to do with it.
- “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret” (Matthew 6:3-4).
In this social media age, it seems that people often do good deeds just so they can post about it on Facebook, Twitter, or some other media outlet. My husband and I refer to this as the “humble brag.” It’s as if good deeds don’t actually count unless we broadcast them for the world to see. But we must stop focusing on making ourselves look good; it’s not about exposing our good deeds so that others will think highly of us. It’s about helping people who have lost everything and are in desperate situations. Sure, social media can be utilized as a great tool to spread the word about shelter locations and donation drop-off sites, as well as to alert workers of areas where help is needed. But let’s evaluate our hearts and motives and be careful not to turn a tragic situation into a moment of self-glorification.
- “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).
If your house didn’t flood during Harvey, don’t waste this opportunity you’ve been given to help your neighbors and your community. In a media-driven culture it’s often difficult to have face-to-face interaction with our neighbors. But now the opportunity to serve our neighbors has been thrown right into our laps. This is our chance! Let’s not let it pass us by. And as we serve those around us, God may graciously choose to use these awful circumstances to draw hurting people to Himself. As believers, may we each humbly pray that we might be the hands and feet of Christ in order to reach a dark and dying world.