Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ignoring is for priests and Levites. . .

I was going to do a little Bible word study this lunch hour on the word ‘ignore’. It was a quick study. In neither the KJV Old Testament nor in the KJV New Testament is the word ignore or any form thereof found.

 In short, is your desire to be Godlike?. . .want to be Christlike?. . . Jesus never ignored. . . I cannot find that God is ever recorded as ignoring a person or a situation. Jesus was about engaging everyone He could. . . in every manner that He could. It wasn’t always pleasant, as when he drove the money changers from the temple. Sometimes He was in your face confrontational, as in the numerous times that He confronted the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. . . but. . . but. . . BUT He is never recorded to have walked by. . . ignoring someone in need. . . the priest and the Levite are used as illustrations of what not to do. The Samaritan is given as the model of how we are to behave.

Jesus was all about engagement and never about shutting someone out. He was about tearing walls down and not about building them up. . . We are instructed to be fisher’s of men and a hook on the end of a fishing pole. . . or a net cast into the ocean is the ultimate in non-discriminatory ministry. . .

I’ve been so very convicted for the past past month or so. . . I live in a very small town. Over the past two years, I have seen an individual quite regularly, whom I have in my mind accused, tried, and convicted of living a sinful lifestyle. I have completely written them off. On numerous occasions, I have done my best to ignore him, when passing in the grocery store aisles. My heart has been filled with anger at him. . . not love. I am so convicted. I am very ashamed at this self-righteousness within me.

I am now seeking to do my best to engage this person in love. . . without condemnation. . . more recently I see the ‘Occupy’ people in downtown Elkhart, on many afternoons when I pick my wife up from work. Again a feeling of anger has risen up within me. I really cannot even articulate a reason why. Perhaps in some way I feel threatened by them, but these are people greatly and genuinely dissatisfied with the world and how life is treating them. They are openly proclaiming their unhappiness. These men and women, so fervently waving their signs are opportunities for ministry.  Their signs are cries for help. . .symptoms of their seeking change.  They are looking for the answers to life’s various problems in politics and the solutions of man. . . A recipe for nothing but increased discontent.

One afternoon, I plan to arrive early. . .I need to spend some time to engage them. . . hear their woes. . . feel the pain in their hearts. . . and just maybe help them to show them a different . . . a non-political answer. . .

No comments: