The World Health Organization reports that over half of all deaths in young children are attributed to undernutrition (Caulfield, de Onis, Blossner, and Black, 2004). As Christians, there are a number of ways that we can address the problem of hunger and malnutrition. Jesus instructed us to “let our light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16, KJV).
What does this mean in practical application? This means that we should set the example that we want others to follow, not for our own exaltation, but to exalt God so that the works we do for God will lead others to Him as well. Jesus instructed us to not turn away anyone who asks for help (Matthew 5:40-42). In Matthew 7:12, Jesus tells us to treat others as we would want them to treat us. By following this one simple command, we would not turn our backs on anyone in need. I John 3:16 tells us that if we close our hearts to someone we see in need, then the “love of God” is not in us (KJV). If we see a widow and her child not having enough food to eat or clothes on their backs, then God’s love compels us to act on it, to make sure they do not go hungry or cold.
Tithing is something that many Christians do; they give the money to churches, pastors, and donate it to organizations. Deuteronomy 26:12 the author tells us to give our tithes to “…the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled” (KJV). I do not think it is enough to hand our money over to someone else, and say “here, you do with it as you see fit.” There are so many scriptures that I could quote, but they all boil down to the same message: give to those in need. However you have to give, that is how you should give. Each person has a different situation. Some are able to go overseas or to disaster areas to provide and feed the hungry, and that is a wonderful thing to do; yet, everyone cannot do that.
However, everyone can help those in need. Many times all you have to do is look out your front door to see someone in need of something. I believe it is most pleasing to God to help where we can, to plow the field that we have been placed in, to reach out to those who are within our reach. If you are like me, and one of the ones who cannot go to the impoverished, you feed the hungry by donating food, time, and money to food banks, homeless shelters, or to someone you know personally who is in need. If you have the love of God filling your heart, it is not just a commandment that you have to follow, but you want to ease pain and suffering wherever, whenever, and however you can.
Caulfield, L. E., de Onis, M., Blossner, M., & Black, R. E. (2004). Undernutrition as an underlying cause of child deaths associated with diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, and measles. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2004; 80:193-8. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/nutgrowthdb/publications/risk/en/index.html