One of my weak points is a lack of the spiritual gift of mercy. I know it. Sometimes I joke about it. I know my Bible and myself well enough to recognize it as a weakness. That doesn’t mean that I have any need to become an emotional basket case. It does mean that I need to be aware of my lack and compensate for it.
One way is to encourage others in the body of Christ who have the gift. Let them be what God has made them. That is the easy part.
The hard part is fighting my tendency to always assume that people need correction rather than encouragement.
The Holy Spirit cut through my crust this week. I was getting out of my car at Panera for my morning time of worship and preparation. A truck pulled up next to me and two young guys got out. They were obviously going to be working hard that day. As I followed them I noticed a woman begging at the door. One of the men walked on by but the other stopped, listened to her a moment, pulled out his wallet, handed her a five, said a kind word and went on in. She went in and got something to eat. I noticed that she stopped several times to thank the young man who had helped her.
That picture has been in my mind all week. What would I have done? I generally don’t give out money. I probably would have invited her in and bought her breakfast. If I had been in a hurry I would have been polite but not giving. I have no problem with that. Maybe I should. What God was speaking to me about was the attitude I would have toward the person begging. I would be judgmental no matter how polite I was.
A couple of quotes come to mind. It would be good for me to remember, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” That is doubly true in this day when the economy is so bad, health care is crumbling and so many are out of work. I am truly blessed and I should be more willing to share that blessing.
The second that I came across today in my study are the words of Jesus. You can read the entire teaching in Matthew 25 if you want but the verse that hit me the hardest was the negative statement?
(Mat 25:45 KJV) Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.How often has it been what I did not do that causes me to be disobedient? I have a million excuses and some logical arguments. I am not sure that Jesus will be impressed.
Today I need to begin to put this in motion. I need to be more merciful without giving up wisdom and discernment.
homo unius libri