March 7th 2009

Helping With Evil Intent

“I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease; for I was a little angry, and they helped – but with evil intent”
Zechariah 1:15 NKJ

Here Zechariah is addressing nations with selfish political motives. From their own comfortable positions they had offered help mainly so they themselves could gain.

It reminds me of how today nations can offer aid in time of calamity just to look good internationally, or because they want to profit from it in some way, such as obtaining access to energy and mineral wealth.

Of course, it isn’t just nations which act that way, people do too.

Judas Iscariot intervened when Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, anointed the feet of Jesus with expensive oil. “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” he asked (John 12:5). It seems a reasonable question. He only wanted to help, to advance the cause of the underprivileged. John, however, records what was really going on. Judas had said those words, “not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it” (12:6). Really it was all about what he could get.

John described Judas with the advantage of hindsight. At the time Judas seemed an honourable and devoted follower of Jesus.

Paul wrote to those who love the Lord, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit” (Philippians 2:3). He tells us to analyze our motives. When we serve, let it be because within us Christ’s love for others compels us to do so. When we assist others in whatever way, let it be without personal agendas and self-image issues.

Let us help but without evil intent.

Prayer
Lord God, forgive me and help me to repent of my wrong motivations. Create in me a heart that mirrors yours, that helps others without evil or selfish intent.
Amen.

Study by James Henderson

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