Q: I'm afraid my husband and I offended some of our family, because this year we've chosen to help feed people at our local homeless shelter instead of joining them for Thanksgiving. Did we make a mistake? Maybe we should have volunteered another time. -- Mrs. L.S.
A: I commend you for your willingness to sacrifice your time with your family this year, in order to help those who are in great need. Without you (and others like you), where would they be this Thanksgiving? The Bible says, "Blessed is the one who is kind to the needy" (Proverbs 14:21).
Could you have done more in advance to help your family understand your decision? Only you can answer this, of course -- but in any case, I hope you'll let them know that you missed them, and you look forward to being with them on another occasion. Avoid talking too much about your experience, however; you don't want to give your family any reason to think you're bragging, or that you see yourself as better than they are. The Bible says, "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt" (Colossians 4:6).
However, I also hope you'll ask God to help you think of other ways you might assist those in your community who face great need -- often through no fault of their own. Elsewhere in your letter, you mention that you became involved in this event through your church. Can they suggest other ways you might become involved?
As you celebrate Thanksgiving today with those who are less fortunate, pause to thank God for giving you the privilege of helping them in this way. Above all, thank God for Jesus Christ, and for the free gift of salvation He offers to all -- rich or poor -- who turn to Him in repentance and faith.
(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: www.billygraham.org.)(c)2017 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.