You…not your money

James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

I had always thought of this verse as referring to the physical need the widow and orphan would be in because of not having a husband/father in the household. But the verse doesn’t tell us to give them money or even any type of physical thing. It says to visit them.  Not just throw our money at them (like we can be so accustomed to doing because it’s easy) but giving some of our life to them.

Visit (Strongs #1980) means to look upon or after, to inspect, examine with the eyes in order to see how he is, i.e. to visit, go to see one; to look upon in order to help or to benefit

This verse doesn’t exclude helping in physical ways, but it involves so much more. Go see them, care for them, be with them.  Give them the most valuable thing you possess – your time.

Oh brethren, I fear that we have become content with demonstrations of love that are far below that which Christ intended.

Let me no longer waste my time

Almighty God, I adore Your infinite patience, which has not cut me off in the midst of my follies; I magnify Your wonderful goodness, which has spared me thus long. Let me no longer abuse that precious treasure–time, which you have allotted me as a proper season to work out my own salvation, and secure that happiness which is great in itself, and infinite in its duration.

Let me bid adieu to all those vain amusements, those trifling entertainments and sinful diversions, which have robbed me of many valuable hours, and endangered the loss of my immortal soul. Let me no longer waste my time in ease and pleasure, in unprofitable studies, and more unprofitable conversation; but grant, that, by diligence and honesty in my calling, by constancy and fervor in my devotions, by moderation and temperance in my enjoyments, by justice and charity in all my words and actions, and by keeping a conscience void of offence to God and man–I may be able to give a good account in the day of judgment, and be accepted in and through the merits of Jesus Christ, my only mediator and advocate.
Amen.

 (Hannah More, “The Book of Private Devotion”)