Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Although it initially looks like I may be struggling to get out as my members contend with the weight of the caked on debris all over my clothes, skin, and hair, you are just not sure. As you watch me roll around in the mud, you wonder if in fact I might actually be enjoying it...and maybe to a certain extent I am.
Each day, you walk by and find me in that same muddy hole. Each day I seem to be a little deeper in it. The degradation of my condition worsens, and the stench from the pit soon becomes overwhelming.
You eventually discover that I have resorted to eating the mud around me, for lack of any other nutrients nearby. Yet each day you walk by, and if only for a brief moment, our eyes meet.
In such circumstances, can I ask you a favor?
Please do not just walk by and look away so as not to be confronted by my situation.
Please do not just walk by and applaud me for being brave enough to pave the way for others who desire to live in filth...because you secretly desire to live in filth as well.
Please do not just walk by and ignore my plight, claiming that you are showing me love by accepting me as I am...stuck in a death trap.
Please do not just walk by and engage in idle conversation with me as a show of how tolerant you are for pretending that my condition doesn't matter.
Please do not just walk by and whisper to your friends that - although you don't personally agree with my choice - you don't want to judge me for living a muddy lifestyle.
Please do not just walk by and condemn me, filling with pride over the thought that at least you are not in a pit like me.
Please do not just walk by and do nothing, attempting to soothe your conscience by assuming that someone else will reach out to me because you don't want to get dirty or to take the time to help.
Please do not just walk by and smile as some show of solidarity with me while you are free to leave me behind.
Please do not just walk by and remain quiet because you don't want to stand out from the crowd and be seen as different.
Please do not just walk by.
"But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me. Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies." Psalm 69:13-16
"He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings." Psalm 40:2
Don't be fooled by worldly perversions of compassion, even if such are embraced by self-serving Christians. The true mercy and lovingkindness of God is seen in His delivering us from out of the mire.
It is not a sign of love to placate those in a pit of sin; it is a sign of your hatred for that person. The compassion of the world will see you dying and walk right by you (Luke 10:30-32). They will even become self-righteous about their indifference, as if they are doing you a favor to leave you like that.
Sin is not a lifestyle, a choice, an opinion, or a personal preference. It is not inanimate (Genesis 4:7; Romans 7:8-9). Sin is a nature whose reward is death (Ephesians 2:3; Romans 6:23; James 1:15). It is a bondage maker (II Timothy 3:6). A perverter (Job 33:27). A snare (Exodus 23:33).
When you leave people in sin, you are not being gracious, understanding, and kind. You are showing yourself to be ensnared in the same pit, even while having the appearance of being free. Yes, each person must choose for themselves to come to the truth, but Jesus sends us out as messengers to bring deliverance to the captives (Romans 10:14).
Are you a vessel of His deliverance as His representative on earth?
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." Luke 4:18-19
"Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests." Matthew 22:9-10
"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40
If you see me wallowing in the mire, please care enough to offer me a way of escape.
"Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me." Psalm 71:2