Devotions from James Smith’s book, The Good and Beautiful Community.

The good and beautiful community is a generous one but sometimes we miss out because we hold false narratives. One such narrative is “God helps those who help themselves”. That is not Biblical but said by Ben Franklin who was a deist. This narrative works against generosity, and somehow it seems to get us off the hook to help someone else in need.  It is not that God helps only those who pull themselves up and get their act together and work hard.  In fact we are told in scripture not to judge those in dire straights. Even if they have bad habits and are lazy or make bad decisions, they may not always be responsible for their situation. What makes us think that our good condition is tied to our good works and that we deserve it? The truth is that God helps those who cannot help themselves.  We are all broken and helpless and we are all in need. We may work hard to earn a living and buy a home but we are still helpless. We must rely on the mercy of God every moment and He is so gracious to us.