Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Da Word... 236! Time to Rise!

Ever feel that tug in your heart when you witness someone being done wrong?  It's like you want to standup and defend the cause of the victim, possibly even knock some serious sense into the perpetuator.  What about when you see a young child who hasn't much, if anything, to eat?  There's a tug no?  But how many times do we act on that tug....

...learn to do right!  Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.  Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
- Isaiah 1:17

BOOM!  There it is!  Direct from the Word itself!  Actions rather than thoughts seem to be encouraged. And you know what's more?  The actions encouraged here aren't in the realm of "comfortable".  Nope!  I mean come on, seek justice!?  You know that's just asking for a fight.  Encourage the oppressed?  That actually means interacting with people who have been or are going through some potentially serious stuff!  And all the baggage comes along for the ride!  Ugh! Defending and pleading?!?  Whoa...

Yeah people!  It's work!  And it means stepping out of our nice comfy spaces into territory which we may not be very comfortable roaming about.  What makes it harder, especially in this day an age, is this culture of, "well, it's not really my problem, I should mind my own business."  But how about the flip side?  What if stepping in meant the saving of a life?  And by not stepping in, very serious consequences emerged?  Neither the world nor the status quo can be challenged and altered if we simply chill.  We cannot transform thoughts and conventional wisdom by remaining idle!

Tolerance is okay.  But like many things, it's only okay in moderation.  Too much tolerance breeds corruption.  In fact, it gives people the rope necessary to engage in activity we know is against everything in us that screams right.  It's time to rise, and no longer sit on the sidelines.  We need to act.  Instead of simply acknowledging that tug, we need to step up and do something about it.  You know what's great about doing something in these areas?  Areas of justice, the oppressed, orphans, and widows?  You do something that no one can take away from you, and a life is touched beyond what you may ever know.

So, what are you going to do the next time there's a tug at your heart?


  - patrick

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Da Word... 235! Accountable!?

And we're back!  Sorry for the hiatus there!  There's been a lot of shuffling going on.  Anyway, ever find yourself in a moment of decision where you have to decide whether or not to move your lips and warn someone -- whether or not it is any of your business to do so?  And only because you know that if that individual continues to pursue a course of action, it will only end up in disaster?  Yeah, I feel you. Sometimes it's tough in that moment.  What do you do?

When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you will surely die,' and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die in his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.
- Ezekiel 33:8

Oh whoa whoa!  Wait a minute!  Is this saying that if I keep my mouth shut, I am accountable for the ill that may grasp ahold of that individual?  How is that fair?  .....interesting isn't it?  Pops above is speaking to Ezekiel here and just prior to this verse, He provided a pretty clear example of what He meant.  See, Pops was appointing Ezekiel as a watchman over the people.  Any watchman that sees danger coming, and blows his siren, is not accountable for any individual who loses his or her life for not heeding that siren.  BUT... if this watchman sees danger and does not blow his siren, he becomes accountable for every life lost.  All that blood is on his hands.

In the same way, if we see our fellow man engaged in or about to engage in activity which will bring him to ruin, it is our duty as brothers and sisters (as a fellow human!) to warn him!  Now what this person does with the warning is his or her own decision, but at least he or she is now in the know about the potential repercussions.  If, however, we merely sit by and watch someone go down a path of danger, we are potentially lower than dirt!  It is as if we ourselves dealt the killing blow!  I don't want that kinda blood on my hands... NO WAY.

So what do we do?  It's obvious in the extreme cases... speak up!  But what about the more tame cases?  You know, where it won't lead to a life or death situation?  That's where it gets even more interesting!  At this point, other factors come into play, many.  One question that might help is to ask yourself, "Would I like, or have liked, to be warned about this?"  Sometimes it is worth the ensuing drama, other times it is more important for an individual to learn by reaping the consequences.

What is the common idea in both those cases?  Thinking not of ourselves, but of the well-being of another.  That's right, it's thinking about more than just me.  For by doing so, I can have an impact in elevating the well-being of all people, which in turn elevates my own.  Yes, we are accountable for our fellow men and women.  Let's do right by them.  Let's get out of our bubbles and make an impact.


  - patrick