So hopefully you’ve read the post right after this one (in time), but just above it on the page… It’s called “Frustrated about ‘Pages’.”
What follows here in this post in the gray block-quote box is the post by my cousin, which he titled “Statics and Dynamics.” I have decided the categories in which to place it.
It is important to note here that I do not necessarily agree with the ideas that some guests might want to post here, but as long as they keep it decent, I have no problem posting their writings… and, of course, interacting with them. 🙂
Having already read this post by my cousin, I can tell you that I have a fair amount of critique to offer. But for now, I will just post it and give some time to let a few others respond.
All my life I have been told by most everyone that I must show compassion to almost everyone I meet, no matter how they treat any other living creature, human or not. While, I admit, it never really made sense to me that I should be kind to a cruel and insensitive person, I have generally followed the rule I was taught, up until recently. When I say recently, I mean in the past two to three years. When I arrived at the forty year mark I had four teenage daughters who were raised by me (mostly) and had been in the position of making a great deal more money than I needed to meet a modest living, been poor as a church mouse as well as having a physical injury that made it very painful to even walk across the floor. I had experienced a wide range of situations. In other words, I had walked many miles in many shoes.
In my life I take my decisions very seriously. Almost every decision I make is based on a deeply held opinion that was formed from not just my life experiences but from all those that I talk to. And I talk to just about anyone who will talk to me and about any subject they want to talk about. Most people talk about themselves, their problems and fears. Most people are just plain old whinny. We live in an amazing country that will adapt itself to us if we bend to it. I don’t mean money, although it’s true also. We fail ourselves everyday. We have before us the ability to be physically healthy, mentally available, socially mobile and most importantly spiritually connected and strong in the arms of God (yes with a capital G). We often confuse the things with the process.
I find it disheartening that the Bible is used as an excuse to put up with bad behaviors from so many. I am not a person who gives to beggars on the street. I feel it encourages more begging and laziness from that group. My attitude about beggars is generally considered to be cold or callused. There are two recountings of the tale about Jesus encountering a beggar in Jericho (Mark 10:46 and Luke 18:35) and in both cases the blind man had no other means as to making a day’s wage. Bartimaeus called out to Jesus and asked for not a coin but for him to transform his life. An act of faith healed him immediately and he followed Jesus down the road. The giving of time and the miracle of the act was with expectation of making a change in the beggar’s life not just a coin.
We do this when we operate missions, where in exchange for the meal the gospel is given. Both my father and my uncle spent time on Sundays reaching out to the homeless and weak in spirit. It is honorable and humbling work to perform. One I have not performed myself. They also spent time at a rest home speaking to the elderly with not much time left on this planet. As a child I went along, sometimes. As a child I didn’t understand how much this preaching meant to those listening. I was an immature person. Looking back I see a need was met not by force of government but by the compassion of individuals who looked to God for guidance.
The Christian life is not just a fire escape or a get of jail free card but rather a life long acceptance and enthusiasm for a life beyond us but still with the necessity to move forward. It is an offer everyday (many times a day) to choose between good and evil, right and wrong, as well as squatting in uselessness or cleaning up one’s life (figuratively and physically) to meet a greater expectation than just man’s.
It is my personal experience that not even once putting up with bad behavior has moved forward a person’s life. In fact, it has been the opposite effect. When the audience of freebies disappears and the only choice left is the one that offers a trade of change in their lives for the goodness they seek, movement is possible. Let’s not cry for the lazy. It confuses the reason why we should have compassion, for the people who cannot change their lives, the one’s who give great effort but have limited potential. Remember 1 Corinthians 9:25-27 where we are called on to give great effort in our endeavors.
I don’t believe it is honorable to promote uselessness and waste just to make ourselves feel better. Charity is given mostly as a selfish act. Make a decision to hold a standard in your life and with those that you interact with. Offer the hand up not the hand out.