Whew!! Summer has taken off and blasted into full gear! Within the last month I have been visiting family in Tennessee and I’ve had visitors from out of town here in Texas. All of this togetherness has led me to the question, “Am I inclusive or exclusive to others?”
Technically, I want to know if I put others’ needs above my own and “get over” myself when someone inconveniences me.
Do I say yes with a smile and/or no with a sincere apology when I can’t accommodate someone else’s desires? Do I try to assist because it’s the right thing to do or would I high-tail it out of there if I thought I could get away with it?
I’d like to think that I’m inclusive, helpful, kind and hospitable. However, is this with everyone or only those who are like me and those I love? Hmmm…good question and not so sure I’m going to like the answer.
The truth is that it’s hard to be welcoming and generous to people who are different and even harder with people who aren’t doing what I think they should. (Like I’m one to talk).
Recently, I read a sign from a church’s marquee (on Facebook) that said, “Do not judge others just because they sin different than you.” WOW! How true is that?!?!
“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 25:37-40
The words I say and the actions I take are indicative of how close I am to Christ that day.
On a good day I will take a deep breath and do what is necessary to be of service to others and lend a helping hand.
On a bad day (seem to have plenty of those) I will either lie to get out doing something I don’t want to do or I will help another and hold some major resentment in my heart because they are disturbing my routine.
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” 1John 3:17
Sigh. I know you are shocked that I have lied, but it’s true!!!
Christ is very clear that we are called to help others and be hospitable to those less fortunate.
“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Hebrews 13:16
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4
Reading these passages help me get back on track when I feel like I’ve fallen off the wagon and more importantly when I’m feeling sorry for myself because I’m not getting the attention I think I should get. Man, I can be such a brat!!! Argh!
I pray that as I grow in Christ I will be more apt to be inclusive of others, rather than being exclusive by leaving others out or by ignoring their needs.
Do you think you are exclusive or inclusive?
Some Wisdom for Today: Proverbs 11:25 – A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.