Look the Other Way…Or Stop and Pry Your Eyes Open

I saw something in church last Sunday that disturbed me. While the collection plate was passed one 80-year-old woman took the plate from the left, and passed to the right. But she was at the end of a short pew and to the right was another short pew. Sadly, a young man, 20ish, stayed in his pew and let the 80-year-old woman slowly get up and take the plate to him.

 

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To me, the saddest part about this is: he probably thought nothing of it. You might say he wasn’t brought up right, or you might think I am old-fashioned.

When did we get comfortable with wanting our own comfort above everyone else?

Possibly his attitude of the elderly is the same as the unwanted unborn…this attitude that permeates our country. Instead of others first, the ME focus seems to rule. Or maybe I’m wrong and he was just being a guy focused on something else completely.

 

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All of us have been slighted, cheated, ignored, or burned by others at one time or another. But what are we supposed to do? Be angry and say life is unfair?

But why did this happen in the church? This is where we teach others first. Church is where we learn to love and support each other, help the sick, the poor, and the elderly. This is where we learn Christ was the perfect example of love and we are supposed to be his example on earth.

 

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Even though we all know this is an impossible job, we do it joyfully, but it’s really hard isn’t it? Sometimes we can readily give grace to others, but then giving grace to our own selves is difficult. God knows this. He knows we mean well, and he knows our shortcomings.

He just wants a willing heart.

Yesterday, in a small town near us a young man and his father were shot while leaving a gym. The son who was shot multiple times and he died. The news reported it was road rage.

Road rage? One person has the right to take a life because he is angry?

How many lives are now affected by this man’s action? How did the shooter decide he is so important…more important than anyone else?

If we show the love of Christ to others, it will multiply. Love is returned, and love multiplies between fellow believers.

But how does that translate into the world of men? I’m talking about men and women who have never cracked open the Bible and heard its truths? We can’t just barge in to their unknown world and make a statement about God without knowing the heart.

We know because we live in a world with family and friends who think they do well without Christ. They think waiting until the end of life is time enough to talk to God. But we know that some lives are cut short, we see it every day.

So we give our best effort to know people, give them grace in their world and love them to Christ. This is what we are called to do, this hard thing, this simple thing we do in the strength of Someone else. God never asked us to do anything alone.

 

“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.”

1 Peter 1:22

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”

1 John 4:7

 

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