“Do we know our poor people? Do we know the poor in our house, in our family? Perhaps they are not hungry for a piece of bread. Perhaps our children, husband, wife, are not hungry, or naked, or dispossessed, but are you sure there is no one there who feels unwanted, deprived of affection?”
- Mother Theresa
The above quote made me think. Recently, I’ve been drawn to the fact that i live a rather selfish life. Not because i want to be selfish really, but because i have unconsciously bought into the average upper-middle class Christian lifestyle.
We live our lives mainly concerned about our immediate environment, when we pray, we pray for our own spiritual growth, our family’s well being, our business, our church group and generally care about our inner circle and other people like us.
When “pay” our tithes and give to our church sponsored charity every month and we are satisfied that we have done our duty as Christians.
However, i am learning that, that is not the life of love that Christ has called us to live. Even though outwardly, we do all these good things, we are still careful to remain uninvolved and unattached to the real sufferings out there. We throw offerings at it and hope to be insulated from the messy details.
When we preach the gospel, we preach out of obligation and when the “convert” begins to tell us his/her problems and need more help than we anticipate, we become uncomfortable and keep our polite distance.
Physical gifts do not solve everything. True love makes you get involved in people’s issues. Getting to know them, relating to them on whatever level you found them, listening and sharing words of encouragement. You mourn with those who mourn, cry with those who cry, laugh with those who laugh. Feel the pain along with them. Be a shoulder, an intercessor and a true brother/sister.
Romans 12: 9 (NLT) “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them….”
I am learning that God needs me to show true affection. It’s not enough to give an offering for the poor and forget about it. there are people around me who are also needy. Who need me to be there for them, who need my involvement and who my physical presence (along with the offerings) can do so much for.
Jesus was involved. He not just preached, he touched people. He visited them, ate with them, cried with them and was there.
He is still there for us. And so should we.