THE REWARDS OF CARING
In the divisive distrust of breaking into ‘us and them’ we mistakenly believe that we are measuring by God’s quality control standards. When we become less concerned about the splinter in our brother’s eye and acknowledge the plank of lumber sticking out of our own head, we begin to see a vision of God’s forthcoming Kingdom.
It is God at work when we learn to love and accept the ‘others’. But, let us be honest. It can be just as difficult to accept and share things in common with our own.
When you are self-absorbed you measure people up and down from where you believe yourself to be. Someone is always better than you and many are much worse. I used to believe that there were only two kinds of drivers-- maniacs and jerks. A maniac was anyone who drove faster than me. A jerk was anyone who drove slower. The problem with the standard is that it also applies to me. I am somebody else’s maniac or jerk.
To grow in God’s grace is to let God be the one true judge. I will stop comparing myself to others and behave with humility. I am not better than others. No-one is worse than I am. We are all made in the image of God and need each other.
There are people who show you kindness and take care of the simplest of your needs because they love Jesus. They understand that caring for you is an expression of how they care for Jesus. Even if you are a jerk and show no gratitude, it has no bearing on what they get from it.
If you give in Jesus’ name to another follower, your reward is secure. If the one you show love to misunderstands or rejects your kindness, Jesus does not change his mind about rewarding you. Your brother or sister may be out of touch and wrong at times.
Too many get hurt by brothers and sisters because they expect to be reciprocated or appreciated because of gifts of kindness or generosity. When you give out cups of water, hold doors, put money in the plate or watch someone’s children, do it freely. No strings.
Learning to live a generous life without concern for returns yields a reward that cannot be robbed from you. I’ve met too many people who only give money to the church and serve when they are happy. If they are upset about something, they stop giving and serving. They expect to be reciprocated with an agreeable experience.
Mature people realize that smelly diapers need to be changed, even though it will not be a pleasant experience for the serving one. Babies do not buy their own diapers. They do not change them. They rarely say thank you or wait for your schedule to have an opening. But we love babies and choose an attitude of freely giving to them.