The debate over health care remains in the headlines and likely will for months and months, if not years.  

Everyone has an opinion.  

But, regardless of what career politicians choose to tell us about whom we should trust or what we should do, the Church must not allow the diatribe and discourse to divert our focus from the core principles of our faith, as they pertain to the poor among us.  

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Jesus said “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you HEALED me!”  

We’ve been called to an active faith that lends a hand to those truly in need, changes lives and gives glory to God.  

So, hear me, Church – disregard the narrative. 

 This isn’t about methodology or political parties or elections.  

It isn’t about capitalism or socialism. 

It’s about where you place your trust.  It’s about using the God-given talents and resources you’ve have been blessed with (some have more material resources than others, sure, but we all have them, even if they’re but a pair of willing hands) to help those in need.   

It’s about giving what you can of what you have to help however you may.  

It’s about what that act of sacrificial giving does in your heart and in the heart of the receiver. And it’s about trusting God to provide the rest.

As the CEO of one of the world’s largest medical ministries, I am blessed to speak and work and serve all over the globe.  But, invariably, when speaking here in the United States, it’s quite interesting how many will approach me and say, “We have so many people suffering right here, why do we need to be concerned about people half-way around the world?  Don’t get us wrong, we know we should try to help others, but shouldn’t we worry about ourselves first?”  

It’s a common sentiment, but one that points to a very significant disconnect. Help ourselves first?  Really?

Do we first categorize ourselves as Americans?  

As conservatives?  As liberals?

What about as Christ followers?  Shouldn’t we first declare ourselves citizens of God’s kingdom?   And as such, share the resources we’ve been entrusted to steward (that are His, anyway) in such a way and with such a people as to best glorify Him and prescribe the best medicine of all – the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

The debate will continue in political circles, but the Church must stay focused on our commission.

Jesus was very clear in His directives and we must not let the chaos that surrounds us deter us.  The blind can see, the lame can walk, and the mute can have a voice.  We must not allow those that have lost focus to distract us from reaching them in time and sharing with them the good news – about their health care and about Jesus.

This new year in 2014 (and, of course, all year around), every small gift can make a huge impact in addressing the needs of the less fortunate.  

Whether it’s to help fund the work of one of our 2,000+ volunteer medical professionals in 23 countries around the globe removing a tumor, performing a cataract surgery or delivering a baby or it’s for any number of other worthy charitable organizations around the world, consider giving the gift of health and hope in 2014.

Samuel Smith is CEO, Medical Ministry International. To learn more about Medical Ministry International visit mmint.org and Sam's blog OptimizingMinistry.com.