Monday, March 22, 2010

In Equal Measure

They say that you don't know what is in a sponge until you squeeze it.

Yesterday's health care bill was a big squeeze.

Since then, I have heard joyous elation to enraged frustration.... and everything in-between. I was primarily for the bill, so I realize I have a skewed interpretation.

There are a number of dissenters whose position I can sympathize with. They have technical reasons why they think this is a bad idea. Fair enough.

Then there are the conspiracy theorists who think this is part of a plot that was initiated in the early 20th century. Though annoying, I can't help but feel pity for these folks who are so easily led.

However, the people who make me sad are my fellow Christians who are ANGRY that the poor might receive help. They are worried that these "lazy, non-working, sit on their backside, unworthy miscreants" might get something for NOTHING! For FREE!!

They resent the poor receiving something that, in their opinion, they don't deserve.

Something they don't deserve.... something for free......

Hmmmmm.... I think I have heard of that concept before.

It makes me think of a story Jesus told in Matthew 18. In it, a servant who had been forgiven much by his master failed to show mercy to a fellow servant who owed him little.

23"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26"The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' 27The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

28"But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.

29"His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'

30"But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32"Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

Jesus said "with the measure you use, it WILL be measured to you".

Christian.... how do you want your mercy measured?

1 comment:

Don said...

Nice post, Andrew. It is sometimes difficult to deal with very conservative stances especially when they come from within my own household. But, alas, I am learning much from where I stand about both sides.

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