Monday, September 9, 2013

Be Careful Not To By-Pass

Over the weekend my hubs and I took a trip to the store for just a few things. Oh, we all know how that is. You go in for exactly two things on your list and you come out with fifteen and a receipt that looks like you've purchased half the store. 

We had ran into Lowe's and then into Walmart determined to get in and out. As we walk up we see the local Boy Scouts in uniform, holding cups for us to drop in our pocket change. One little boy walks up with a smile and says, "Excuse me, would you like to donate for our local troop?" We look at him with smiles in return and my husband says, "We will get you on the way out, okay? Promise we won't forget." His smile disappeared and you could see his whole demeanor change, but he kindly said, "Okay". I told my husband, "You know, I bet he has heard that a lot today." 

At Walmart there are always two exits at each end of the store. My husband says, "Oh man, I didn't think of that. I bet he has heard that and people just go out the other exit." 

We did our shopping and had money ready to hand to him. He wasn't there. We seen him running off with his momma. A man, we are thinking maybe his daddy, said, "Can I help you all?" We tell him of the little guy and how we promised him we would come back by. He explains that he had to hurry and change for his soccer game, but he would be honored to take it for him. As we turn to walk away a woman speaks up and says, "He is going to be so excited that you really did come back by." That was our affirmation that our thoughts were most likely true of what he had faced all day. 

How many times do we by-pass others? We see someone in the store and we skip over an aisle just because we don't want to talk to them. We tell someone we will be there to help and then never show up. We give our word only to take it back, but many times, we don't give even a word. We are so caught up in ourselves that we don't stop for others. I am just as guilty as you. Friends, this isn't just done out in the world, it's done inside our churches. We by-pass people all the time and without thought. Our thought is on us and what we need to accomplish.  

There are a thousand different ways we by-pass people. Sadly, we just never realize until we are the one being by-passed. We need to slow down and spend time with people. Give sincere hellos to people. Be interested in others. This is how we encourage one another. This is how we show the love of Christ. 

This little guy pricked my heart. Well, lets say the Lord used this little one to prick my heart. We get busy. We live in rush and we simply don't take the time for others. We almost say hello as we are truly passing by. We don't answer our phones when certain people call. Yes, we go out of our way not to see or talk to people. Just what if we made the effort to reach out inside of by-pass? Can you imagine the change in the hearts of man? 

Pretty soon those people that have been by-passed give up. They begin to think something is wrong with them. They no longer smile. They stop reaching out. This isn't what our Lord intends. We are to be connected to people. When we don't reach out we are saying, "I don't care", and "I don't have time for you".

Let me put it this way. We make time for what we want to make time for. Kind of how we like to say how busy we are. Well, we are busy with what we want to be busy with. Just reaching out, like with this little boy, makes the heart smile. When we give time to others it doesn't just bless them, it blesses us.

Friends, too many times we don't even want to give others eye contact. What are we afraid of? Are we afraid someone will ask us for something? Are we afraid to give, to open ourselves up? Maybe we have been by-passed and now we do so unto others. Sadly, our actions do not reflect a people of love, but of a selfish people. Mercy, this has opened my heart up to some serious questions. I don't want to live in such a way. I want to live each day and make a difference.

Remember the Good Samaritan? (Luke 10:25-37) Here was a man hurt and in need of help, but others just passed by. Can you see the people looking at him, but by-passing him? Then one man stops. He stops and gives his time to another. Time is love. It doesn't matter what the situation. Time still equals love. People need our time. They need our love. This is how we tell others they matter. They are important. 

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." Luke 10:27

"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.’" Matthew 25:35-40


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