I see a need; my heart goes out to fulfil it, but sometimes I fail to stop and ask the big question: What is God doing here? Why is the Lord of the universe allowing the need to arise? Is it a means of sharpening this person’s character and his dependence on God? If that is the case, then He actually wants the person to be squirming and my assistance would short circuit His purpose.
A friend is in trouble and I desire to help. There is a need for money; can I cover it? I call it generosity, but Psalm 50 questions my faith and motivation –
“I am God, your God. … I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal in the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.”
God is sufficient for the need, so why am I so desperate to help? Am I using money to gain favour? If so, then I am guilty of getting in the way of God’s purpose and of seeking to usurp his place as the answer to all needs! The Lord’s reminder that He has everything in hand calms me and helps me walk in the light.
At other times I am prompted to give generously, yet usually at a higher personal cost and for an unknown benefit. That way I am protected from seeing myself as the source.