How do you do good when you live in a dangerous country?

Question:

Hello,

I am a member of a church of Christ and have been continuously blessed by the spiritual resources on your website. May God continue to provide you with the effort to keep this work going. Amen. You will be surprised how many people around the globe with good heart comes to your website to learn about how to stay faithful to God in this deadly world.

The word of God says we should do good to everyone. Unfortunately, no condition under which good should be done was specified. America and other developed nations are well controlled and the crime rate is suppressed to a large extent (correct me if I am wrong). In developing country, doing good most times puts you in danger. You may be driving in the night and see a little child or a pregnant woman or a distressed person waving at you and shouting for help along an isolated road. As a Christian, you want to stop to help, but then you are suddenly attacked by armed bandits. It is a trap! This often happens and everyone knows about this, so many other forms of traps are set up for people with a good heart willing to help but they, unfortunately, end up being robbed, kidnapped, or killed. In situations like this in a high crime society, how can a Christian balance the command to do good to all and that which says we should be wise like a serpent?

I eagerly wait to hear from you.


Answer:

"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith" (Galatians 6:9-10).

There is a qualifier on this command: "while we have opportunity." There are going to be times when we are not in a position to help. A person traveling in a dangerous area and without means of protecting himself is not in a position to offer help.

The New Testament times were dangerous times to travel. There is a reason people traveled in groups. The story of the good Samaritan is about aiding a man robbed while traveling. Jesus even told his disciples, "But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one" (Luke 22:36). Traveling can be dangerous, so protection would be needed. See: Self-Defense and The Use of Force: A Biblical Perspective.

Therefore, a person takes as much precaution as he can to remain safe so that he is able to do good to those who are really in need. He travels with others, he carries protection with him or has others with him who have protection, and he avoids dangerous situations as much as he can. Even in generally safe countries, these rules make sense and can avoid all sorts of bad situations. For instance, you could be doing good for some woman and then later be accused of inappropriate sexual conduct, but if you had others with you, this is less likely to happen.