Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
We all love to hear praise for our efforts. Doesn’t matter if its for getting that last load done quickly or staying late to ensure that a particular customer’s order is complete before its loaded. Indeed, it could even be recognition for staying with the company for better than a decade. Regardless of the reason, we all love to receive praise for our work.
Ironically, so too will it be on the last day. Jesus told his followers that on the last day he would separate the sheep from the goats, that is those who were his followers from those who were not his followers. Alas, the sad truth would come up that not all who called Jesus “Lord” were truly his followers, regardless of what “miracles” and works they did. Simple truth, just because you can cast out demons does not automatically make you a follower of Christ Jesus. Jesus made this abundantly clear.
So, what then is the litmus test whereby we may stand before the throne of our Almighty God? Did we help to provide, the name of Jesus, for the well being of others? No, I am not speaking specifically of our family members, as most of us know well enough to do that already. I am speaking more specifically of those whom we may not even know. Are we helping to ensure that a child in a low income family’s next meal isn’t the breakfast they eat at school on a Monday or Tuesday morning, as their last meal was possibly lunch at school or a dinner at the YMCA? Did we provide blankets and clothing for the homeless so that they may be warm and clothed?
We live in a society of hyper-abundance. Indeed, even many of the “poor” in our company have far more than they truly need to survive. How then do we discern who is truly poor? That is hard to say. So may argue that if you can read, have a home, are clothed, and have regular meals, you are not truly poor. I am not completely convinced of that. However, if you can afford to goto the local burger place more than once a week, you probably are better off than you think, especially if you can afford to “supersize” that meal.
Those who are truly poor are those who can not afford to do this. I am not talking about those who feign injuries and other such issues such that they can not work only to get “free stuff” from the government. Such people are unrepentant liars and have a warm dark place awaiting them in Hell. Such are without love or compassion. They are in violation of the commandments of God. These are the goats of which Jesus speaks. They honor him with their lips, yet are their hearts far from him.
Alas, it is truly difficult to know with absolute certainty who truly needs help and who is faking it. Furthermore, we are called upon to try and presume the best possible of all people, unless we truly know otherwise. However, if we know otherwise, we are called upon to call them out that they may repent. How then can we help?
The answer is simple. Sadly, it the answer that nobody truly wants as it calls us all into accountability. Rather than relying upon some government entity to help people, we, the church should do so. Indeed, we were charged with this very task by our Lord and Savior. We can even do this without anyone outside of a few people within the immediate congregation knowing. Donate to your church’s food and clothing bank, whether it be food, clothing, time, or cash. If you can not do that, then take the clothes you no longer need and take them to the local homeless shelter, along with food or cash, and donate such even more directly. In doing this we, are truly doing as Christ Jesus called us to do and will find ourselves being numbered among the sheep rather than the goats. Indeed, we will have taken our faith and put it to work, for faith without works is death and so too is works without faith. The two are mutually inclusive.
We all want praise for our efforts. How much more so should it be that we want to hear our Lord praise us at the end of the time with the words “Well done good and faithful servant.”?
Do you truly want to help those in need? Contact your local homeless shelter or food bank and ask them what they need.