We all seem to have the mentality of giving to the poor during this time of year. But many I know want to and do give to the poor the time, talents, and gifts God has given them year round.
During Thanksgiving and Christmas there is an up-tick of giving. Some do it because it looks good to those around the red kettle to see the money deposited there. The annual cleaning of the closets is good, but we tend to clean them out only to put more stuff there.
We clear out the toys and games, but only in anticipation of the new ones coming from “Santa.”
We write checks to claim them as a deduction on taxes.
All of this looks good on the outside. But what is happening on our insides?
Do we truly see the faces of those who are the considered the least of these in today’s society? Do we allow their loss, their pain, their struggles, to prick our hearts or do we brush it off as a sad situation that is only on our minds until the program we are watching comes back on?
Do we allow our hearts to be broken, to be wrecked by their situation, to allow their pain to become our own?
What do we do with the least? How can we resolve the struggle when we find this in Matthew 25:
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
It is the wrestling match in my spirit today. I don’t have answers. I just know the battle inside is getting bigger…