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Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
— James 2:17 (NIV)
While riding through a large city in a developing country, I saw a mother and three children standing knee-deep in a muddy, green river. “Those people are washing clothes,” our driver explained. That family washing clothes amid the polluted canal’s floating debris remains, for me, a poignant scene.
Certainly, such moments make me grateful for the conveniences I have, including a washing machine. However, if the memory of that moment only makes me grateful for my own blessings, that would not be enough.
Although I may not be able to lead a campaign for ending poverty or improving access to plumbing in another country, I can offer compassion and help to those around me. Maybe a grandmother’s lawn needs mowing, a neighbor feels desperate to find a job, or a student could use a math tutor. From picking up trash to giving away groceries, the needs are endless. As Jesus reminded his disciples, “The poor you will always have with you” (Mark 14:7). In this hurting world, we can reflect Jesus’ love by acting to meet one need at a time.
Daily devotionals from The Upper Room