Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Dear Colleagues,


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As I drove into the Interstate "Rest Area" to take a break, I noticed a uniformed man raking leaves on the expansive lawn one laborious stroke at a time. "Man! Get a blower and get the job done with", my mind raced! Then I remembered the posted sign at a previous "Rest Area". Something about the State hiring the mentally challenged to do the maintenance at these facilities.

In a society that is moving at mach speed

, where time and getting the job done spells the difference between success and oblivion, theres not a lot of room for the weak. Efficiency, brains, and results loom at the top of our values. Miss a rung on the ladder on your way to the top and 20 people are climbing over your back to replace you or shove you aside. Its "lead, move, or get out of the way" city. Thus we kill our unborn and shunt aside the old and unproductive. I believe the correct term for such a culture is barbarianism.

Tell me, how do you personally respond to the clumsy, inarticulate, unattractive, non-athletic, frumpy, cant quite get-it-together types in your office, neighborhood or church? If you do what comes naturally, you ignore them, reject them, judge them, exploit them, wound them, and ride rough shod over them on your way to "success." If you and I are responding in this fashion, could it be because we feel they might assault:

Our pride: Basically, we believe we are above them. (Rom. 12:16)

Our "rights": If we get involved, they will drain us and inconvenienced us. Slow us down. (Phil. 2:2,3)

Our privacy: We selectively invite those into our world who stroke us. The "weak" are an intrusion. (Lk. 14:12-14)

We can be sure that this is not the way of the Cross. Scriptures give clear instructions – and warnings, on how we are to treat the weak among us (or what most would term the "losers"). Essentially, we are to:

Patiently accept them. (I Thess. 5:14; Rom. 14:1,15:1)

Rescue and defend them. (Psa. 82:3-5; Jer. 5:28)

Not wound them or cause them to stumble. (Rom. 14:13; I Cor. 8:8-12)

Minister to their needs. (Matt. 25:31-46; Jms. 1:26)

In a word, we are to show them the compassion of Christ:

"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd."

(Matt. 9:36) (See Prov. 14:20; 17:5; Lk. 1:53; Jas. 2:1-5)

If this is a difficult area for you, perhaps your prayer could be

: "Lord, I have to confess that I am not naturally inclined to befriend and express compassion toward the less fortunate among us. I am asking for your forgiveness, and for a renewed sense of compassion toward them. Would you lead me into practical ways I can love them on your behalf? In Jesus Name, amen."

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