My thoughts (Robin Herman):
I have had several conversations lately on the subject of “What would Jesus do?” I’m often dismissed as a pessimist, but I argue that far too many people think that being a good Christian means you are nicey-nice to everyone and you forgive everyone for everything.
I remember one Sunday at church, a guy wandered in who was obviously confused and didn’t appear to know where he was. There were many different reactions to him – some people just looked on and some went out of their way to make him feel welcome. While discussing it later, someone said that you never know, that may have been Jesus. Of course you can guess what I thought. He was probably drunk.
This passage helps my argument — although I’m sure I was too quick to dismiss him, others might have been too quick to welcome him. I see a couple important things:
- Don’t enable, or entertain a fool, and
- Make sure it’s a fool.
Now the question, what is a fool? I think a fool is someone who makes an informed poor choice. In this situation — it’s a tough call. Was he drunk? That to me would be an informed poor choice — at least to some degree. Was he mentally disabled? In either case, I think we did the right thing. Everyone is welcome at our church, and so was he. Being welcoming to him “because it may have been Jesus” seems poorly motivated. I don’t think Jesus is going to go out of his way to trick us.
For me, being a good Christian doesn’t mean having to tolerate and be victim to the fools, but to learn to walk away and don’t loose focus on the good that you were doing. I’m still at a point where I have to talk myself out of some type of retribution and get distracted by their ‘folly’, but I’m getting a little better as time passes on. I really try to focus on the truly helpless, and not spend valuable time on those who don’t want or need help.
Thought for the day: Keep your focus on the light ahead and don’t let the shadows distract you.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.