By Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert
I read this book recently.
It wrecked me.
I was expecting to read about failed programs of poverty alleviation and successful models for doing it right.
But, more importantly, I read about my own poverty, my own mistakes, and my own false assumptions.
It was a very humbling read. In fact, by the time I got to Chapter 4, I put it down for over a month – because I didn't want to read it. You might say I put my hands over my ears, shut my eyes, and shouted, "Na..na..na…na…na…I can't hear you!"
Very mature of me, I know.
Well, eventually, I did pick it back up and finish it. I'm slightly more self-disciplined about spiritual growth than weight loss. But I digress.
Each chapter begins with some questions to get your juices flowing. It is designed and works best if you write down your answers to the pre-chapter questions before you read the chapter, so you can refer back to them at the end of the chapter. By doing this, you force yourself to actually think about the way you think about poverty.
At the end of each chapter, there are more questions to help you sift through and apply what you just read. Again, write down your answers so you can nail down your thinking. These questions are excellent for small group discussion. I would have appreciated thoughts from multiple points of view as I digested the material in this book. In fact, I'm seriously considering leading a small group through a study of this.
Even though When Helping Hurts was painful to read, I highly recommend this as a must-read to the following people:
- Anyone who sincerely cares about helping
the poor, oppressed, needy, weakothers
- Anyone going on a short-term mission trip
- Anyone considering long-term missions
- Anyone who calls themselves Christian
- Anyone who is thinking about helping anybody with anything :-)
Will you take the challenge?
Blessings to you,