Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Monday’s Ministry Musing: Should We Serve Our Own First?

Yeah I know it’s Wednesday but I just could not let this go until next Monday.  So pretend that I wrote this on Monday and it got stuck in some cyber filter, wound up in a parallel world, and somehow just posted today. 
I am beginning to see rumblings of people frustrated with the American government providing relief to the Haitian people, “when we have hurting people over here.”  I’ve even seen this little jewel pop up on several people’s Facebook status:
Shame on you America: the only country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed without eating, elderly going without needed meds, and mentally ill without treatment - yet we have a benefit for the people of Haiti on 12 TV stations. 99% of people won't have the guts to copy and and paste this...
First of all that is one of the most uninformed and narrow minded statements I have ever read.  If you are my friend on Facebook and you thought this would be cool to cut and paste—then I am sorry if I offend you, but this statement is just plain wrong and outright irresponsible.  Do a little fact checking.  Are we really THE ONLY COUNTRY where homeless are without shelter, children go to bed without eating, etc.  Seriously?  Have you seen Africa?  Do you know about North Korea?  starving_child-sudan2
There are numerous places in much worse shape than we are.  But that is not my main issue.  Let’s just pretend for a moment that this statement IS true.  Should we “serve our own” before we serve the needs of others? 
This way of thinking within Christian circles I just do not understand.  Yesterday morning on a Christian radio station I heard an advertisement for some spa/resort business that said something like this, “In 2010 you should finally do something for yourself…come in to blah blah blah and we’ll give you the care that you deserve.”  These advertisers are not stupid.  They are appealing to something within us that wants to say…”Yeah, you’re right, I’ve been always giving—it’s about time I start taking.” 
The  principle is the same as the Haiti response.  Why should I take care of someone else when I myself am hurting? 
As a side note I do understand there are times when you are absolutely burnt out and you have nothing more to give anyone.  You do need to get away for a little while and retreat.  Even Jesus did this (Matt. 14:23).  But notice that Jesus “went up on a mountainside to pray”.  He got His refreshment by spending time with the Father.  He did not get his refreshment by going to a health resort, or calling up his disciples and saying, “hey guys why don’t you serve me for awhile.” 
So, why should you take care of someone else when you are hurting yourself?  Why should our nation send relief to Haiti when we have homeless people and orphans here?  Because that is exactly what Jesus would do.  Jesus would not refuse to serve a Samaritan because the Jews were under Roman oppression.  You look at the Cross and compare that to this “I need to care of my own needs first”, New-Age, Oprah-driven, egocentric junk.  I do not see my bleeding Savior climbing down off the cross and saying, “someone else will have to serve for awhile…I have my own needs”.  You find me one explicit place in Scripture where Jesus put His humanly needs above other people and I will delete this post and copy and paste that silly little shame on you America thing myself. 
Now if you want to point out American duplicity I’ll show you were it is found.  It is not in America helping Haiti.  I fully support our nation in supporting the people of Haiti.  Where you can see American duplicity has its roots in this “serve my needs first attitude”; and we see the fruit in this attitude in the atrocity that is abortion. 
Shame on you America for fighting the genocide of other nations while neglecting to address your own infanticide.  Shame on you America for waving a flag that says we fight for freedom but refusing to fight for the freedom of the unborn.  Shame on you America for exalting a woman’s right to choose while neglecting the much smaller and less developed woman’s right to choose.  Shame on you America for exemplifying an attitude that says, “me first and then I’ll serve you.” 

1 comment:

  1. Mike,

    My response to your post was initially: "surely charity starts at home". And, of course, charity at home is vital.
    But as I read on - and yes we too have those "you deserve it" adverts in the UK - I finished reading your post with a realisitic and not pessimistic "shame on me!". Not pessimistic because I can go - again - and ask God to pour out His love (genuine and pure) into my heart by the Holy Spirit He has given me.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...