Saturday, 3 December 2016

Superficial or Not?

Jesus will never refuse to help us carry our burdens in life, no matter how big or small. Jesus will always be there to help us. We are told that we just need to go to Him with humility. But the irony of it all is this: whenever some of us have problems we first try to exhaust every available avenue that will help us solve it. After all else fails we turn to Jesus as our last resort. We need to change this cycle. Instead, whenever we have burdens we need first go to Jesus so that as we carry our burden our God in Jesus is there to help us, to refresh us and to make our burdens seem light.

I was reminded that whenever biographies of famous personalities are to be written publishers would try to make the exterior of the book as attractive as possible so that it would create an immediate exterior impression to the buying public especially to those who have a superficial knowledge of the personality involve.

And yet we find that, Jesus was called names such as glutton, drunkard, friend of tax collectors and sinners. Because that’s what they observed, they based their unfair judgments on what they saw. If only they knew that the real motive of Jesus was to convert those called sinners to a life of love, compassion and caring. Maybe if they knew then they would not have unfairly judged him. Oftentimes we are like them for we judge our neighbour based on what we see, the exterior and the superficial. ... An interesting idea as we prepare to and celebrate in our communities this Advent season. As we prepare to be gluttons, drunkards etc.

“There’s no pleasing some people.” We’ve all heard or used some similar phrase at times. If, for whatever reason, some people oppose us or oppose a public figure, there is almost nothing that we or they can do which is not criticised. The words of Jesus though refer us back to his life among his contemporaries who, out of envy or fear, jumped at every opportunity to fault him. If he fasts, they say he is mad; if he eats and drinks with the wrong people, he’s a drunk and glutton.

There are at least two applications to our own lives. First, we can expect that if we put ourselves out to undertake anything worthwhile in public, there will be carping from several contradictory directions. Service doesn’t infallibly bring appreciation. Second, we learn to temper our own criticism of others who are trying to do something worthwhile. Genuine incompetence and crookedness should be exposed, but so often our fault finding is merely petty and negative and does nothing to help the situation. “There’s no pleasing some people.”

No matter how important our participation in the life of our world is for ourselves, our families, and the world itself, it helps to step back and see that it is not of final 
importance. Surrender to the power and grace of God and allowing God more space within us and in our thoughts and desires is the way to more peace and quiet, more ease and joy. “They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles’ wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

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