‘What I do have I give you.’ Acts 3:6 NKJV
Notice two things in this story. First: it’s important to know what you have and don’t have. ‘Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you.”’ You must become comfortable in your own skin and confident in your calling. Paul writes: ‘Don’t cherish exaggerated ideas of yourself or your importance, but try to have a sane estimate of your capabilities by the light of the faith that God has given to you all… Through the grace of God we have different gifts. If our gift is preaching, let us preach to the limit of our vision. If it is serving others let us concentrate on our service; if it is teaching let us give all we have… Let the man who is called to give, give freely; let the man who wields authority think of his responsibility… Let us have no imitation Christian love. Let us have a genuine break with evil and a real devotion to good.’ (Romans 12:6–9PHPS)
Second: learn to recognise the difference between what people want and what they truly need. Sometimes they need to be strengthened; other times they need to be stretched. Sometimes they need comfort, not correction; other times they need correction, not comfort. This lame man didn’t need a handout—he needed a hand up. And that’s what Peter gave him. ‘He took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.’ (Acts 3:7 NKJV) So, in order to help people you must love them, recognise what they need, know what you have to offer, and connect with them at the point of their need.