I am convinced that I must not have the most recent edition of the good ole dictionary. I am certain that if I look up the word Christian in the dictionary, that it most likely has the word NAIVE as the definition. Or, is that just what everyone thinks? I had to take down the sign in my yard touting my church affiliation due to the increasing number of persons knocking on my door asking for $. Not only do they ask me for money and feed me some crazy, disjointed story, they get indignant when I tell them (truthfully) that I do not have any money, but I ask if I could feed them instead. Need to get to the doctor in Leesville, don’t have a ride, need some money to make it there….do I look stupid???? Can’t feed your kids, you work at Sonic, you are hungry, need some money to buy groceries but are standing on my plywood porch puffing a smoke from a $5 pack of cigarettes? Really? I am, like most everyone else, trying to make ends meet myself. In fact, in another week, I am marching back out into college world trying to obtain a second (hopefully more helpful) degree, along with a Masters. I will be working part time, plus going to school full time. We have cut several things from our budget to ready ourselves for the loss of my income. We have not had DirecTV in over 6 years. We recently were forced to get cell phones due to our rental business. Before that, we were on a tight, no frills budget which did not allow for cell phones. I do not have caller id. Do not leave me a message saying “call me back” and expect me to know your voice AND your telephone number. (Sorry, that is a side rant. Am annoyed with persons who do not leave their name, telephone number and a brief message like my machine instructs them to DO!). Anyway….
I have had more people turn their nose up at the food I have offered then I care to count. If some of these people were “really” hungry, they would take what I offered. I usually stock up on canned meats and different items that are easy to open and pack them in paper bags with disposable plasticware. I had one guy tell me, I don’t have any way to cook or open anything you give me. I told him that everything is cooked, all of the cans have pop tops and there is plasticware and a napkin in the bag. He still didn’t want it. Lol…some people!
I have even had some go so far as to say that they thought I was a “Christian”. The next person who tells me that, I am going to ask them: “What is YOUR definition of being a Christian?” Do they expect you to be a doormat? Do they expect you to hand out money no questions asked? Because they don’t get their way and I don’t hand over what they demand of me, that makes me NOT a Christian? Sounds more like a toddler throwing a fit because they didn’t get their way. I don’t remember Jesus waving his hands and creating money trees. I am reminded of what Peter said to the lame man “Silver and Gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee…” I think I am going to print that on cards and staple them to the bags….lol…although I think the point would be lost on most.
Ok, so what is my definition of a ‘Christian’? A Christian is a follower of Christ through example and deed. Being a good and responsible human being. Being compassionate, but not an enabler. Being merciful, but not smothering. Loving others enough to hold them up when they need it, but also allowing them to learn on their own through trial and error. To live your life morally, with integrity and weighing all things with a sound conscience, but not preaching to everyone else what they “should” or “need” to do according to personal opinion. To have an understanding of Biblical principals and how to enact them in your life. “…in all thy ways, acknowledge Him” Prov. 3:5.
Above all, a Christian (or whatever you want to call yourself…Christ Follower, Bible Believer) is someone who enacts Matthew 25 in their daily life.
35For 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, 36I 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? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
I have to admit that I am quite a miser. And to think of even giving someone a dollar gives me a headache. I work hard, as does my husband. We pay taxes (which I am all for and think as responsible Americans we should pay our taxes). I give to missions. I give to our church’s building programs. I pay tithes and offerings. I donate time and effort to local charities. I take food to the sick. I visit the elderly. I take care of widows. I live on a tight budget and do my best to control our expenses and do not spend outside of our means. Even if that entails living with less or living without. So, when someone, whom I don’t know from Adam, stumbles up on my porch and asks me for money, it is rather hard for me to justify handing over money — I pinch so tight George Washington yelps — to someone that appears to not have a job and be drunk. I am sure if food was what they were going to spend it on, they would gladly take my food bag instead and not worry about the money at all. However, when they balk at the food, I know that the money was not intended for nourishing the body.
I have since edited this post a little and I would very much like to point out Bryan’s comments below. I cannot say it better.