2 Thessalonians 3: 13 “But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.”
I have found myself at times in life disappointed with my behavior. I am disappointed that I am impatient. I am disappointed that I am “short” or not engaging with people. I am disappointed that I assume the worst in people and find myself being impolite or not accommodating.
Why do I do that? My nature is to protect myself from disappointment or insecurity. My tendency, at times, has been to be not “too nice” when I fear someone else will not be “nice” back. Really? Why does it matter if someone will be “nice” back? Shouldn’t I just be “nice” regardless of the other person’s reaction?
It amazes me how much I enter social situations and rely on other people’s reactions and attitudes to determine mine. What I mean is if someone is rude or impatient, I will mirror that same behavior.
Verse 13 speaks to me today in the sense of, do good and do not expect anything in return. Be nice to the server in the restaurant who is impolite or not overly friendly. Be kind to the flight attendant who embarrassed you in front of many people. Be patient with the person in the grocery store who cut you off in line causing you to wait even longer. Engage with the homeless person on the corner who is asking for help and not be embarrassed to stop and talk to them.
When Jesus was on earth, He had dinner with tax collectors, witnessed to prostitutes, and welcomed sinners of all kinds to be with Him at His table. The Son of God was kind to every person of all shapes and sizes, all the while knowing He would be killed for doing good. No matter the sin, Jesus loved all people and made a difference in their lives.
One area of my life that I have worked on very hard is witnessing to homeless people. I used to dread pulling up to a stop light and seeing a homeless person on the corner. In the past, I would immediately talk myself out of speaking to them, not even make eye contact, thinking they might be scary. I would convince myself not to give them money as “they are just going to go buy liquor or drugs.” I am not proud to admit that.
These days, I pull up to the stop light, roll down my window and ask the person to come to my car, if it’s safe. I give them money, without judgment or reservation, and I ask them their name. I cannot tell you the surprise and shock on their faces when I ask them their name. When they tell me their name, I now call them by their name and tell them Jesus loves them and I will pray for them. The look on their face is priceless. The thanks and appreciation always come through. Never once, have I had a negative reaction being nice to a homeless person.
So please join me in praying for Bobby, who I met in Charlottesville, Virginia today. Bobby was panhandling on the side of the road with a cast and his arm in a sling. God loves Bobby like He loves you and me. Let’s pray for Bobby and all the broken people Jesus loves, without reservation or expectation that we will get anything in return.