Doing Good to Those With Special Needs
1 Christians are commanded to “love one another,” to be genuinely interested in others and their well-being. (John 13:34; Rom. 15:1, 2) While there is still “time favorable for it” we want to work what is good especially toward those who are related to us in the faith. (Gal. 6:10) The inspired counsel says not to “hold back good from those to whom it is owing, when it happens to be in the power of your hand to do it.”—Prov. 3:27.
2 In the Christian congregation there are fatherless boys, older ones, widows, the infirm, depressed, handicapped and others who have special needs. Immediate family members and other relatives should be primarily concerned with assisting these. In imitation of Jehovah and his Son, Jesus Christ, we should all show concern.—1 Tim. 5:4, 8; Ezek. 34:16; Matt. 9:36.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
3 What can we do to assist? In some cases a visit and a friendly conversation will lift up their spirits. Or, we may be able to provide a ride to the meetings, invite them to join us in the field ministry, or accompany us on a Bible study we conduct. An older sister or fatherless boy could be invited to our family study and/or a meal. All in the congregation can have a share in assisting those with special needs. Teenagers and children might assist by running errands, doing chores or shopping. Youngsters with only one parent in the truth can start by providing this assistance right at home. There are many ways in which we can and should show genuine Christian love.—Acts 9:39; 1 Pet. 4:8-10.
4 It is not unusual for those who are themselves in need to be among the first to respond to the needs of others. In fact, many have found ways they can help themselves. Self-help is a vital factor in a happy, productive Christian life. There are hundreds of pioneers who are physically ill, but they keep busy in the preaching work. Some full-time workers are blind, deaf or in wheelchairs. Many new pioneers being enrolled are older brothers and sisters, some of whom are ill and live alone. Instead of isolating themselves and focusing their attention inward with self-pity, they are optimistic and outgoing. They are intensely occupied in sharing the message of the Kingdom with others. (Acts 18:5) The same can be said for many fatherless boys who have entered the pioneer work, Bethel service or the missionary field. Of course, many of those with special needs are not in a position to undertake the full-time service. Nevertheless, the examples given underscore the spirit that all of us should have and the blessed results.—Mark 10:28-30.
5 There are many things that any of us can do to keep happy and optimistic. We can regularly read the Bible, the magazines and other Society publications; listen to the Bible recordings on cassettes and let the truth fill our hearts; make telephone calls to sick or depressed individuals to encourage them. We can write letters and take the initiative in showing interest in others; set goals such as starting a Bible study or auxiliary pioneering; get to know the brothers better by inviting them over or visiting them. We can improve in our ministry as well as our teaching and speaking ability by enrolling in the Theocratic Ministry School. Brothers can reach out for the privilege of being a servant. (1 Tim. 3:1) The more we work at doing things for others, as well as ourselves, the happier we will be.—Acts 20:35.
6 All of us, regardless of personal needs, should clothe ourselves with love and humility. If we have special needs, we should guard against being overly self-conscious or allow pride to cause us to reject loving assistance from our brothers. If we are rendering assistance we should use good judgment and not embarrass or erode the self-respect or dignity of others. None of us should be guilty of abusing the generosity of our brothers or taking advantage of them. We should be positive in our attitude, reasonable, spiritual, rejoicing in our hope. (Phil. 4:4-9) The counsel to ‘love our brothers intensely from the heart’ applies to ALL Christians, because that is a very special need we ALL have.—1 Pet. 1:22.