Cynical about “the least of these?”

I don’t know about you, but I have to admit,

I can be a little cynical about helping “the least of these.”

mother and child

A thousand questions come to my mind, especially after eight years of work in Haiti…

  • Am I enabling a cycle of poverty when I give to the poor?
  • Don’t people need to reap the consequences of their own poor choices?
  • If I can’t commit to long-term discipleship, is it worth getting involved?
  • Is it possible for me to make a difference?
  • Where would I even start?

But from what I can tell, God’s mandates haven’t changed,

despite my compassion fatigue and cynicism.

The truth is, these are hard issues for every last one of us.

Who wouldn’t prefer to linger at Target, on Facebook, or in conversation with a friend over

research on wise giving, foster care, or the local rescue mission?

lonely girl

But do we know what we’re missing?

Have we forgotten the most incredible phrase of the verses that we can say in our sleep?

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine,

you did for me.

(Matthew 25:40)

Do we believe that? Do we understand God’s caste system?

Watch this. It’s well worth your time.


Are we willing to be moved?

Will we ask God to burden us and cure us of depraved indifference?

What opportunity is before us?

Where could we start?

I’m surrounded by friends who have allowed God to move them.

They’re doing the hard work… moving past emotion to become the hands and feet of Christ.

  • One family just opened their home to foster a baby.
  • One family is adopting from India.
  • One family is adopting from China.
  • One family provided months of childcare, transportation, resources, and friendship to a low-income single mom and her toddler.Indian girl

What will I do?

What will you do?

My questions — our questions — are valid. They merit answers.

But they must be addressed rather than ignored.

  • Let’s do the research.
  • Let’s read Scripture, articles, books.
  • Let’s make the phone calls, check out the websites.
  • Let’s commit the matter to prayer.

But then let’s do something.

Our time here is so short! We have work to do… the good news to share.

Reaching out to the lost includes, but reaches far beyond physical needs…

We have the hope of eternal life.

We have Jesus!

He is the answer.

Let’s not waste the time we are given.

Resources on Poverty and Giving:When helping hurts

To give or not to give

The poor will be glad

kisses from katie

Resources for helping victims of human trafficking:

the white umbrella
Websites for helping victims of human trafficking:



Help for the modern-day orphan of South Florida:

hopechildren's home

Help for single moms in crisis pregnancies in South Florida:


Please leave a comment if you have suggestions for people in your area.

What are your local organizations that need volunteers, mentors, donations, projects, prayer?


4 thoughts on “Cynical about “the least of these?”

  1. Andrea April 22, 2013 at 4:38 pm Reply

    Jen! I loved that video! In fact, we were just forwarded that video last week by friends who watched it and really spurred them on to adopt! Thanks for all the links to books, etc. Good to know. Don Shire Ministries has some great ideas for people to donate/support local Indian pastors to adopt in country/ mission trips etc that help those in need.

    • Jennifer Ebenhack April 22, 2013 at 6:18 pm Reply

      Thanks, Andrea! The video was forwarded to me too. 😉 It was too good not to share!

  2. Kris Thede April 22, 2013 at 5:19 pm Reply

    Thanks Jen. After a day of working on dossier paperwork and wondering if anyone knows how to help us adopt while living in Haiti under the new rules. I needed this encouragement.

    • Jennifer Ebenhack April 22, 2013 at 6:16 pm Reply

      Oh wow! Those feelings are all too familiar! Praying the Lord makes the way clear for you. Excited for you!!

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