Hidden Nuggets Series #92 – “Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” – Acts 3:6
Can all problems be fixed by giving money to someone? Silly question…of course they can’t. Money doesn’t solve every problem. In fact, it doesn’t solve many problems.
There is nothing wrong with giving money to people when they need help. However, what if that’s not what they need most? What if their issue is deeper than the surface problems money can solve? Would we be doing a good service by only meeting their superficial need? I think not.
The funny (interesting) thing is sometimes people don’t even know what their real need is. They think it might be “X” when it’s really “Y”. Case in point this man, who one day had a run in with Jesus’ disciples Peter and John in the temple.
Giving Money or Miracle?
On one occasion Peter and John were going up to the temple in Jerusalem to pray as they were accustomed to do. When passing by the temple gate they happened upon a lame man. And this was no ordinary lame man.
The Bible tells us he had been crippled since birth. It’s all he knew. No walking…ever. Just a life of sitting by the temple gate begging, surviving off the charity of others.
So when he saw Peter and John walking by what do you think he asked for? You guessed it…money.
We can’t fault him for that. It’s what he did all day every day of his life. I mean a lame man has got to eat too, right? What else did he have to look forward to?
It would have been real easy for Peter and John to drop him a few coins and be on their way. I’m sure they had some pocket change they were carrying around. The man would have been thankful that they met his daily need for food. And Peter and John would have felt good knowing they helped somebody.
But Peter had no interest in giving money to this man. He had something else in mind…something bigger…something deeper than the perceived immediate need.
“And fixing his eyes on him [the lame man] with John, Peter said, ‘Look at us.’ So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.
Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.’
And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them – walking, leaping and praising God.” (Acts 3:4-8)
Impact Others by Meeting the Deeper Need
The lame man couldn’t see his true need. Even if he did see it he had no hope it could be changed. People didn’t recover from lifelong ailments in those days.
Peter saw the deeper need and gave him a gift that would keep on giving. Not only did he change this man’s life by giving him the gift of mobility, the miracle impacted those around him. We read a few verses later the entire city was filled with wonder and amazement for they all knew this man’s history.
If Peter and John had only thought about giving money, they’d quickly done so and been on their way. they would have missed the chance to truly alter one life while simultaneously impacting thousands.
So the next time you are contemplating giving money, give it a second thought. It may be money is what’s called for in that situation. It may be that it’s not.
Meeting the deeper need is always what’s best. It will have the most lasting impact and may multiply in ways you could never imagine.
Questions: Do you know people who are looking past the deeper need and only focusing on superficial issues? How do you go about helping them? Have you ever had a time where someone gave you something besides money…How did that impact your life?