Knowing Christ takes us right back to basics, to the root of our being, to the root of our thinking, to the root of our judgments. How often when we have seen a gentleman or lady of the street have we winced, stepped aside, thought that they should be somewhere else other than on our street, felt uncomfortable, or enraged that they are begging when they should be out there doing a decent job like everybody else.
But who are we to judge? What right do we have to make a comment on that person's living conditions?
Yes I did say gentleman or lady of the street, because they still are people however we would prefer to see them. I expect when people saw Jesus with his rough clothes, unshaven, and disheveled appearance they were weary of him. But when he spoke all visual references to his person were forgotten, and people hungered for his word, works and compassion. Do we do that with our friends who live on the street? Of course not, most of us want to avoid them because they make us feel uncomfortable. They challenge our pride, the pride we have in our homes, our jobs, our family and our worship. They challenge our judgments, our belief that we are where we are because of our doing. They challenge our wisdom. They challenge our compassion.
God blesses those who are humble.
Our pride should take a tumble when we see face to face the thin line between the street people and ourselves. As the saying goes, 'there but for the grace of God go I.' And that is so true. We may believe that this couldn't happen to us, but everyday it is happening to us. We are on the streets if we are proud, because we are on the streets of Pride. We may not be visible or smelt from a distance, but we are there in a state of neglect, forgotten and an embarrassment and in a worse predicament than those who are visible. The streets of Pride breed contempt, arrogance, are full of self worth, are addictive and self absorbing.
Can you see yourself, are you humble enough to recognise this street that you are walking on?
God blesses those who are humble.
The people on the streets have been laid low by life and its challenges, we on the other hand have been laid low by our pride.
In order to cross over and walk on the street of humility we need to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18) because unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. (Psalm 127:1) Our lives can grow in wealth and posterity but unless we have God at our center we become infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteousness deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6)
Are we wearing the filthy rags of pride?
"You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength" (Mark 12:30) and anything else we worship is idolatry. If we do good deeds to show how good we are it is idolatry. Pride is idolatry as it feeds and worships ourselves.
God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. What a promise. What a challenge, are we going to be ready for the question when it comes? For whom did you do your good works?
Being humble requires that we give to those who cannot give back. (Luke 14:12-14) We cannot give God back what he has given to us, His sacrifice of His only Son was greater than the universe He created. However we can try to mirror Him by being faithful to Him and copying His example in our everyday life by giving Him the praise for our achievements and seeking Him in all that we do. By being compassionate and merciful towards our fellow man/woman by giving to them who cannot reciprocate in return. This can be in many different forms, through time, a listening ear, a comforting hand, a meal, money gladly given, a word, a healing prayer, a warm coat, a hug. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength."