We live in a society that is permeated with self-adulation. “Me”ism is rampant. Self- Awareness, Self- Confidence, Self- Talk, Self- Will, Self- Appreciation. On and on the list could go. The greatest gospel that I see preached is self worth. Yet, Jesus preached a far different gospel. Go to Matthew chapter 5 in your Bible and you will see.
Don’t twist my words. I know there are people who need encouragement. I know there are people who are withdrawn, insecure and other self-depreciating traits that need to be reminded to appreciate themselves. But that is not everyone, all the time! Most of us (myself included) tend to have big ole fat heads. We do not need inflation so much, as we need deflation.
Seldom heard are the words of Matthew 5:11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.” (Most of us don’t want to hear about this kind of “blessing” because it doesn’t stroke our ego and make us feel good.
Which brings me to the point of this BEAM. Sometimes, (often in fact) we have to be wrong to be right. Matthew 5:6 defines “the hunger and thirst for justice,” as the kind of satisfaction we ought to be seeking. Honest self appraisal, which includes unpopular practices like admission, confession and repentance are often required to learn to be “right.” So sometimes we really do have to be open to being wrong, to be right.
A story someone recently e-mailed me recently; well illustrates and drives home this point.
A young and successful
executive was traveling down a neighborhood street,
going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was
watching for kids darting out from between parked
cars and slowed down when he thought he saw
As his car passed, no children appeared.
Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag’s side door!
He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to
the spot where the brick had been thrown.
driver then jumped out of the
car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up
against a parked car shouting,
‘What was that all about and who are you? Just what
the heck are you doing? That’s a new car and that
brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why
did you do it?’ The young boy was apologetic.
‘Please, mister…please, I’m sorry but I didn’t
know what else to do,’ He pleaded. ‘I threw the
brick because no one else would stop…’ With tears
dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth
pointed to a spot just around a parked car. ‘It’s my
brother, ‘he said ‘He rolled off the curb and fell
out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.’
Now sobbing, the boy
asked the stunned executive, ‘Would you please help
me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and
he’s too heavy for me.’
Moved beyond words,
the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling
lump in his throat… He hurriedly lifted the
handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took
out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh
scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything
was going to be okay. ‘Thank you and may God bless
you,’ the grateful child told the stranger. Too
shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy!
push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk
toward their home…
It was a long, slow
walk back to the Jaguar The damage was very
noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair
the dented side door. He kept the dent there to
remind him of this message: ‘Don’t go through life
so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to
get your attention!’ God whispers in our souls and
speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don’t have
time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It’s
our choice to listen or not.
I love this story. Unfortunately I have had some similar events in my life, but still have to be reminded occasionally. This is one that I am forwarding on to friends.