Hi, I'm Ramses

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It’s much easier to hand the homeless man at church a food card than it is to hear his story and help him find shelter and a job. When we give quickly, we are often being selfish—we’re choosing to demean the other person to a charitable cause and ignore the relational opportunity.

If we believe the neighbor Jesus calls us to love is any and every person, then we should also believe that people deserve our time and attention, not just our dollars (Luke 10:27). Everyone deserves the opportunity to tell their story and be loved as an entire person, not just a need.

Jesus is spontaneous in His helping—His miracles arose as a result of seeing a need—but He is also serious about His relationships. We see Jesus repetitively eating with people and stopping for discussions and questions—here is God with only three years of ministry time on earth, stopping to eat, drink and have conversation. This is how He works.

Jesus also stops to get to know those who are considered unlovable by His culture, like the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1–26). And in doing so, He keeps the focus on what God plans to do in their lives—He instills not just help but hope.

John D. Barry
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