If Ephesians says to imitate Christ,
Why do you look so much like the world?
“My Jesus” Todd Agnew
Having had a child who struggled with addiction, I am usually pretty aware of news articles and Facebook posts about drug deaths / arrests. As a byproduct, I really catch most any article or post about prodigals in general.
One thing I notice is the comments in response to the event—which usually fall into one of these categories:
- Where are the parents? It’s the parents fault. My kids would never have done something like that!
- It’s society’s fault! We need a program. The need to lock them up. Why don’t they just kill them?
- They got what they deserved! Thug! Loser! We’d be better off if they were removed from the gene pool!
Unfortunately, if you spend enough time on Facebook and/or news sites, you will find many of these encouraging posters are professing Christians. The same people casting blame, complaining and looking down their noses profess to follow a savior who did/does none of those things.
Yes, we have personal responsibility.
So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Romans 14:12 (ESV)
But that was never a barrier to Jesus offering healing, restoration or deliverance.
Moving Past Blame
When faced with the blind man, the disciples asked “who sinned, this man or his parents?” Jesus responded “Neither, but this happened so that the Glory of God may be shown in him. ” (John 9)
When faced with the woman caught in adultery, Jesus did not say “stone her, she is getting what she deserves!” No what he said—after dispatching the self-righteous—was “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more. ” (John 8:11)
When faced with Zacchaeus, the tax collector, Jesus did not say “where is the government to deal with this swindler?” Jesus went with Zacchaeus to his house and delivered unto him the grace and truth of the One Living God.
Are you sensing a pattern?
At no point did Jesus go around asking “where are the parents?”
At no time did Jesus express the need or ability of government to resolve sin issues.
At no moment did Jesus say “you got what you deserved” as an excuse to not get involved and not minister.
What Jesus did say was “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. ” (Luke 10:2)
It is easy to get on Facebook and cast blame.
It is easy to write people off as getting what they deserve.
It is easy to pass the buck and say it is someone else’s problem.
You weren’t called to easy!
Make a Difference
- Be there for the persons or families going through the trial
- Know the Gospel. You can’t share what you don’t know
- Don’t forget your own story
- Understand the issue whether it is Addiction, Homelessness, Pornography or whatever
- Do something. Pray, encourage, serve, teach, feed, clothe, love, forgive
Let me ask you this question: “If you were not part of your community, what would be different?” Would there be one less complainer or would there be one less person ministering to Jesus.
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Matthew 25:34-46 (ESV)
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