Do you ever feel inadequate as a follower of Christ? On the outside, you appear to be following Christ’s instructions to care for the widowed, the poor, the orphans; anyone who needs a little help in this harsh and sinful world. But on the inside — when you take the time to reflect on what you’ve done — you can’t remember the last time you volunteered your own time and energy to lend a hand to someone else.

This past month, I visited a volunteer project in Rogers, Arkansas, where close to 100 volunteers from many Northwest District churches met up at Central United Methodist Church to help build the wooden frames for a man in Mountainburg whose house was destroyed by the April 13 tornado.

Seeing all of those folks — both young and elderly, women and men, skilled and unskilled in carpentry — work to build a house for someone who was left with nothing thanks to the fury of nature was both inspiring and, to be perfectly honest, convicting.

When was the last time I did something like this? How many days, nights, weekends, could I have volunteered to help out others who had less than I had? I was there doing my own part by capturing the work, sure, but how could I say I was doing as much as those who were literally sweating and toiling to build this man a brand new house?

I mention this thought not to make anyone who reads this feel bad about their own commitment to volunteer work; If anyone should feel convicted, it is I and I alone. But I mention this to remind us all what it means to truly sacrifice what you have been blessed with in this life in order to help out a fellow human being who cannot help themselves.

If we are truly called to be the hands and feet of Christ on this earth, then maybe it’s time we use those hands and feet to better the lives of another.

Volunteering time and effort isn’t easy; if it was, then it wouldn’t be a sacrifice.

“…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 (NIV)