“No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them— the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough— so that they should live on forever and not see decay.” (Psalm 49:7-9 NIV)
While reading a book tonight by a missionary team building relationships and ministering to young street kids in the Philippines, 9 years of age to 20 year old young adults who mostly sniffed solvent drugs and slept under a bridge, the above verses were seen.
It is a good reminder, as the author pointed out, that we can do nothing to purchase salvation for anyone. The price was paid by Jesus Christ, by His shed blood, death on the cross, and resurrection.
Supplying clothing, food, shelter, friendship may make others dependent on the supplier, but no human can supply the free gift of salvation.
Sometimes we are just tested by those we help to see how much we will give. It is necessary to say NO at times when asked for many things, often for things that are not needed anyway. As the author pointed out, it was discovered that there was a waiting market for the items given out, so the items were sold, and more of the solvent for sniffing purchased.
It is not always wrong to give, and we have given to many, probably getting burned sometimes also, but we do need discernment which God’s Holy Spirit will give readily when asked, and we seriously wait / look for His response.
We need to help others, as Jesus did and told us to, and we need His wisdom to do so.
What we give will not give anyone salvation, but love shown in relationships, conversations, actions, and wise giving may open doors so the Holy Spirit will have opportunity to draw someone to Jesus Christ as Saviour.