Good morning. I pray you are as enthusiastic and excited about God and this week as I am. I just finished filling in for our vacationing pastor for the past two weeks and am planning a signing ceremony for the group who completed the “Honor Begins At Home” Bible study, for this Sunday. God is great and any time I get to do something for Him I feel more alive than ever.
Today's topic, “Topic Of Conversation”, is one that hits close to home for me. I really don't know if it would have six years ago, but I see it almost daily now, and wish I could do something about it.
When you see a person with a limitation, what do you do or say? Do you look away? Do you say to whoever may be close something like, “don't look now, but so and so is coming”? Do you turn quickly and go the other way, hoping you were not noticed? Why is it when we see someone blind, deaf, on a cane or a walker or in a wheelchair, we tend to think they are contagious, or somehow of less value than the rest of us? We don't want to include them in things with us for fear they will not be able to keep up. We don't want to talk to them because we think they have enough problems of their own. Let me share a bit of scripture that comes to mind when I think of this.
John 3:16 say, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Matthew 15:30-31 say, “ 30 Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus' feet, and He healed them. 31 So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.” 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." Exodus 4:10-11 says, “10 Then Moses said to the Lord, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue." 11 So the Lord said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?” Philippians 2:3-5 says, “3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,”
So, what have we learned? The Bible tells us that God came to save us all. Whether we are blind, deaf, mute, lame, slow of speech or just not pretty, God came to save us all. But the last of the scripture is probably the hardest for us, “let each esteem others better than himself”. That is the last thing we want to hear in this very self-centered, selfish world we live in today. You want me to esteem other better than me, and to look out for their interest also? But, “I know so and so, and I know I am better than they are”. This is something Jesus could have said, but didn't. Then you say, why should I? No one else is doing it. But the last verse seals it for us, “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Isn't He suppose to be the example we follow? Your friends may not be doing this. Your church, your Sunday school teacher, maybe even your pastor is not following this scripture, but we will not answer for what they do or do not do, only for ourselves.
You see, God is looking on the inside. He is not looking at our limitations, but our capabilities. He sees how we can be of use just the way we are, and then He looks to see if we are willing to let Him use us like we are or if we are whining about our infirmities.
God can and will heal us all, of whatever we suffer from, whether it is a physical limitation or a mental limitation, when the time is right for Him. Whether it is on this side of the Jordan, or the other, God is the same God and has not weakened over the years. He can do the same in either world and works in His time frame and not ours.
The point I am trying to make is, don't shun people with limitations. Think of us as you would anyone else. We just want to be treated like everyone else and we want to be given the same opportunities to help, serve, work and take part in all the things that anyone without limitations can do. We want to be friends to you and you with us, not just a “Topic of conversation” at the lunch table.
Remember: If you are listening to someone talk to you about someone else, that same person is probably talking about you to others as well. Be accountable, stop the gossip bug at you.
Until next time, please pray for each other, and me, as I continue to pray for each of you. Loving in CHRIST,