Thursday, October 23, 2008

Least of These

Contrary to popular belief, I'm not (and we're not) here for ourselves. That's not a popular concept, especially in Southern California where everyone wants the newest gadget, the namebrand clothes, the big house, the expensive car, etc. We've taken on the mentality that we have to look out for 'number 1' and that we have to try and have as much fun as possible. While I know that God wants us to enjoy our life, I know that He's called each and everyone of us to a much higher purpose than being able to afford the latest Louis Vuitton bag. We are supposed to be helping the widows, orphaned, oppressed. Day after day I keep thinking about Matthew, where Jesus tells us:

"For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me."

The righteous ones then ask Him when it was that they did these things... they didn't remember helping Jesus in this way, and Jesus' response is:

"I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,you were doing it to me!"

BUT, the opposite is true as well. For when Jesus told them:

For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

And, again, He is asked when it was that they ignored Jesus' when He was in need, and His reply is:

‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

I can't stop thinking about those words. Of course, all of us would agree that if we saw Jesus lying on the street, we'd see what we could do to help him, but here Jesus is saying that when we fail to recognize the needs of someone or fail to help them, we are failing to help Him. There are so many times when I walk past a homeless person on the street and I just feel sad, because I begin to wonder, 'was that Jesus that I just passed by?' Was that a test to see if I would help 'the least of these' and I completely failed? There's a song out now by Monk and Neagle titled "21st Time" and there's a section of the song that always sticks with me:

Nowhere to live
Nowhere to fall
He used to have money
But he’s wasted it all
His face is a photograph burned in mind
But I pretend not to see him for the twenty-first time

He sleeps under stars, it’s all he can afford
His blanket’s an old coat he’s had since the war
He stands on the corner of Carter and Vine
But I pretend not to see him for the twenty-first time

He may be a drifter who’s grown old and gray
But what if it’s Jesus and I walk away
I say I’m the body and drink of the wine
But I pretend not to see him for the twenty-first time

I say I'm 'the body', but I'm beginning to recognize how little my actions reflect what I say. Because, in reality, if that homeless person on the street is a believer, then they have God's spirit in them, so I really am just passing by God, Himself, and doing nothing.

I've always fallen back on several excuses... there are too many people in need, so how can I give money to one person and not the other 50 standing on that street? So, I do nothing. The other excuse is that if I give them money, they'll probably just use it to buy drugs and/or alcohol. But, really... is that MY concern? God calls me to give to the needy, not give to the needy, but only if I can be sure they won't spend it on drugs. I'm called just to give. Period. What they do with that gift, is really between them and God and I need to remove my 'holier than thou' self from the equation and let God work in them and on changing their hearts.

I haven't quite figured out what I'm going to do about all of this, but things have got to change and I have to continue to pray for God's direction and guidance and I've added a couple of other things onto that prayer... I pray that God would give me His eyes to see everyone as He does, His ears to hear the cries of those in need, and His courage to get off of my behind and do something about it.


不結婚可以環球 said...

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發問者: Hokkiao ( 實習生 5 級)
發問時間: 2008-10-07 06:59:19 ( 還有 1 天發問到期 )
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