Romans 2:3-4 (ESV)
3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
Have you ever tried to ask for help, only to be thoroughly criticized?
Have you ever tried to reach out in love, only to be rejected?
But then, who among us never criticized someone else behind their back, or avoided people we don't like . . .
Is this the correct thing to do?
It's so easy to see the mistakes of others, and it's so easy to justify avoiding certain people. But does this make it right?
In the late 19th century in certain areas located in the south of Iceland, it was common to see poles erected in the ground in frequently travelling areas, especially areas where cities were far from each other and where travelers would easily get lost.
It sure would be easy to criticize such travelers. "They should have brought better maps with them, and maybe better equipment, too!" Such ramblings of our thoughts could easily justify the idea that these travelers should have to learn a lesson from their mistakes.
But such criticism was never the case in Iceland. If a traveler in one of these regions got lost and needed help, he or she would seek out one of these poles. There would be an oil lamp under each pole, and the lost person would light this lamp and hoist it up on the pole. The light would then be seen from afar, and anyone in the region that noticed it would come to the immediate rescue of that lost person.
In our modern world, there are literally thousands if not millions of people crying out for help. Their lives are far from delightful, and they are totally lost, having no clue how to resolve their dilemmas. I wish they could hoist up a lamp, so we would understand without a doubt that they need our help. Unfortunately, no one notices this fact, and they still hunger for help.
Criticizing these people won't help them. In fact it will only drive them deeper and deeper in complete despair. Only "kindness, tolerance and patience" will open the doors of their hearts, giving us the opportunity to help them, bringing them hope instead of blame.
Will you be the one to bring help to someone in need today?
Dear Lord, thank You that we can always come to You when we need help. Help us be the one that looks for someone in need and go to help them. In the Name, of Jesus, Amen.