Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tests From Uncomfortable Places

Have you ever been somewhere and from afar, you see someone approaching you?  In their approach, you have already predetermined several things about this person:
  • They are living a pretty rough life;
  • They are coming to ask you for some money;
  • They probably are going to do something with that money other than the reason in which they asked.
There may be a list of other things that run through your mind, but in that moment this person asks you for a couple of dollars.  What do you do?

I have talked about this before, but as we grow the same life learning lessons can take on new meanings.  With that said, I have had this happen to me on many occasions and I use to be that person that would say, "I know this person is not going to do XYZ with this money and they are going really going to buy alcohol, drugs, etc."  I think bigger these are at question in these situations and one is "Who am I to judge this person?"  In Matthew 7:1-5 (AMP), it says:
(1) Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves. 2) For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.  (3) Why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother’s eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye?  (4) Or how can you say to your brother, Let me get the tiny particle out of your eye, when there is the beam of timber in your own eye?  (5) You hypocrite, first get the beam of timber out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother’s eye.
As normal it is always easier to point out other people's problems than it is to acknowledge our own.  It is true that a person may have some type of abuse problem or they may not have a stable home, but does their problem make your sinful acts any better than them.  Does acting un-Christ-like while driving down the highway with road rage make you not as bad because you are a Christian?  Nope, not really.  If anything it is worst to know the teachings of Jesus and not do it, than to not know it at all (see James 1:22).  If you look at your daily life, it is a constant struggle to walk in Christ and we constantly fall short.  

So now, back to this individual who is asking for you money.  Can you look past what you interpret and give any way?  After all, what they do with the money is not of your concern. I know you may say you do not want to aide and abet a person in partaking in some abusive habit, but really can we predict the outcome of our actions?  I believe a bigger issue at hand is that we may be missing the bigger test.  We miss the idea that this individual could be used by God to test our generosity for those we consider poor and maybe in a bad place (remember that God used the most unimaginable people to carry out His will all throughout the bible).  Most importantly, we are doubting that what we do can make a difference in that person's life AND we are doubting the power of God's ability to work a miracle to instantly heal someone!  Now, I am not suggesting that someone else's healing and blessing is predicated on the actions of other humans.  

The test is can you overcome your own judgmental perspectives in order that you can heal and grow.  You should try changing your thought process a little.  Instead of being apprehensive about what you think, try being faithful in what God can do!

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