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Who Do You Help?

In reading the story The 10 virgins in Matthew 25 1-13, it struck me. Yes, we are supposed to love our neighbors and we are supposed to help those in need. But that doesn’t mean we are supposed to help everybody all the time. Sometimes people don’t want to be helped. Sometimes all they want is help and they never really want to get better or help themselves. You could spend countless hours having the same conversation over and over with them with no change in action. In that case, we aren’t really helping anyone. Five of the virgins weren’t prepared and when the groom came they didn’t have enough oil. They asked the other five to share. We teach our kids to always share - but the 5 virgins with enough did not. They had to go back to town to get more oil. When they finally got back to the feast, they cried out. But the groom said “I know you not.” Was it cruel for the other virgins to not share what they had? I don’t think so. Those five were not prepared. Helping someone who truly needs it is one thing. The Bible commands us to love our neighbor and take care of the orphans and widows. Those are two very different things. Giving a lending ear, buying groceries, offering a coat, paying a bill, etc. But if the person doesn’t want to feel better and is attention seeking, or doesn’t want to look for employment but lives to milk the system and boasts about it, or is just lazy, then what? I believe the Bible teaches that we must help those who truly need it. We must leave those who we would be enabling alone. The proverbs are full of sayings to support it. As cruel and harsh as it may seem - it is really saving yourself from heartache down the road.

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