Secure Your Mask First Before Helping Others
How many airline flights have you taken in your lifetime? With all of the family vacations and business trips, jumbo jets and puddle hoppers, multiple legs and layovers, all in over 40 years worth of air travel, I’m incapable of calculating a reasonable number. Suffice to say, except for TSA checkpoints and waiting for my ears to finally pop, flying the friendly skies is pretty uneventful for me.
Even so, on my last trip, that phrase from the title stuck out at me. Make sure you get your mask on and secure before assisting those around you. What’s the big deal? You’re an adult, why shouldn’t you take a few seconds first and just help that small child next to you before selfishly grabbing for your own bright orange breathing tube?
Well, the logic goes that if you take care of others before you secure your own safety, you risk sacrificing yourself, and then neither of you is saved. While it’s true that no one has ever died from not using one of those safety masks, the logic is still sound, and we should apply it elsewhere.
I believe in generous giving. I encourage others to be charitable. It’s one of the two primary reasons I’ve invested in becoming a financial coach. However, I would never coach someone in the midst of a money crisis to give more. Paying for rent, lights, and groceries takes precedence.
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
1 Timothy 5:8
Broke people can’t help other people financially. Broke people can’t pay for a widow’s electric bill. Broke people can’t buy groceries to feed hungry children. Broke people are limited by the few resources they have available.
Stop making broke people choices.
This is a big dang deal. Get your house in order first. Get yourself back to a place where you can fill your cup to overflowing and be free to bless those around you. It takes resources to provide assistance.
Whoever multiplies wealth by interest and profit gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.
I need to end with a caveat: Tithing is an exception. Returning a percentage of your income back to God isn’t about generosity. It’s about attitude and perspective. It’s about recognizing the source of your income, and reminding yourself that you are just the manager of what you have.
Manage it well, so you’re ready to help others around you.
Question: You may not be able to help out financially, but there are still ways you can help others when you’re struggling. You can donate your time to them. You can encourage them. You can pray for them. How have you helped other around you?
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