One of the most indicting things to me in my life is how easily it is for me to have the attitude that “someone else will do it.” I was getting some bagels the other day, and there was some trash that somebody just threw out of car as they left the parking lot. Now I normally pick up trash that is left laying around, not because I am some super American…but because I think that if the person who “threw” out that trash saw me pick it up…it may remind them that somebody has to clean up the mess that they made! And…if nobody sees, it makes the place look better.
And it occurred to me that that is the way life is with most people…including me. In other words…it is always somebody else’s responsibility to take care of things. Can you imagine how clean this place would be if everybody picked up trash that they saw? Or left the “public” bathroom a little cleaner than it was when you walked in?
Okay…I agree…some stuff is icky…now let’s change the situation to people.
What about your neighbor that is in need? What about the guy/gal at church that you know just lost his/her job? What about a homeless person? Everybody’s needs are considered by most of us as “not my problem.” They are just like that trash that got left in the parking lot…they are left for “somebody else” to take care of. But the big question is what if it was YOU that had a need and nobody came…because it was somebody else’s job. Let’s see what the bible says….
James 4:17 – Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. (NASB)
Yikes…that is pretty easy to understand…it is MY job.
But be encouraged….you will get rewarded for meeting needs. And going the extra mile. EVEN if nobody sees it. Don’t think so? Let’s see what Jesus says…
Matthew 6:1-4 – “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (NIV)
And if that wasn’t enough…Jesus is even more specific. Because those people who do these things don’t do them for recognition…they do them because their “heart” tells them to do it. And if you don’t think God cares…
Matthew 25:37-40 – 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
How cool is that? Oh yeah…and think about how tragic it would be for the world if Jesus said, “it is not MY job to go to the cross for YOUR sins.” Something to think about.
Grace and peace, Dan