I had a quick pray this evening, and was struck again by something I started thinking about a couple of weeks ago. I receive a regular email from the mailing list of www.relevantmagazine.com. They often have some great articles, with a wide diversity of subject matter on following Jesus. Good stuff, check it out.
Anyway, one particular article included a tyrade from a writer berating their church members for going out and having nice meals with their friends one minute, and feeding homeless people a more meagre offering a few hours later.
I could see their point, but something started to bother me as I read. If this kind of event is wrong, surely by extrapolation its wrong to be going out with our friends for nice meals at all, when there are poor people around us. And this is what got me slightly riled. Of course we must allow the Holy Spirit to challenge us about our opulence and our heart for serving others. But we must also allow Him to be present as we celebrate life with our friends. We have to ask the Lord that He would show us the right balance – the balance between serving others, and knowing that the poor will always be with us.
Life following Jesus will never be about rules and regulations. He’s after our hearts, so it’ll never be as easy as being able to follow a rule book that will get us into heaven. So we’ll live with tensions like this, and they’re actually healthy. How do you act towards your friends one minute, and a homeless person the next? Do you bring life to both relationships? Does Jesus challenge you about how you are with either group? Does something need to radically change in your life? Only the Word and the Spirit can show the answer, and it may be a very different answer for you than it would be for me…