Pick Me Up or Push Me Down
A Woman Anoints Jesus’ Feet. That’s the heading for Luke 7:36- 50 in the online Bible I’m reading right now.
You know this story. The woman, a sinner, showed up a dinner party where Jesus was dining, wept at His feet, washed His feet with her tears, dried His feet with her hair, kissed His feet, and then anointed His feet with the oil from the alabaster box.
The Pharisee that had invited Jesus was upsets…He thought Jesus must not be who He said He was. If He was, He would know how bad of a person that woman touching Him was.
Then comes the parable. Jesus explains a creditor forgiving two debtors their debt. One owed $500 and the other $50. Which did he love more?
Obviously the one he forgave more.
Sometimes it seems like only the people who have it all together are the chosen ones. Sometimes it seems like the people with money get more money while those without just seem to lose more money.
When we look at others it’s easy to see that they have it made, that things come easy to them, that they never have to work for anything. For the rest of us, well, our lives just are the way they are and nothing we do can change that.
I refuse to buy into and continue to feed that perception.
People can change. We can change our circumstances. We do not have to remain the same. Life is not simply an unbreakable cycle that we are trapped into.
Don’t believe me? Read the verses. Verse 48 says “Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
I don’t believe that woman was the same when she left that dinner party, do you? She was changed. Radically changed!
Today I looked an individual in the eye and asked them a tough question. They didn’t want to answer the question. They didn’t want me to be asking the question.
Where it becomes even harder is when I insist they look me in the eye while I tell them that I believe in them and what they are capable of doing. When I tell them that I will continue to push them because they are worth it and until they can believe it for themselves I’ll do the believing for them.
I didn’t have to have this conversation. It wasn’t required of me. Wasn’t recommended to me. As a matter of fact, most would wash their hands and walk away from this entire situation. But as frustration started to overtake me, I paused, prayed, and asked, “What would You do?”
Jesus had a knack not only for being in the right place at the right time, but also for looking past a situation, an attitude, the way things looked to see the person as God intended them to be.
So, I took a step back. I re-evaluated. I decided my feelings about the situation weren’t important. I wanted the individual to know that someone thought they were worthy not because the person did anything to deserve it, but because it’s what Jesus would do.
How many times do we have the power to lift someone up or hold them down? I don’t think I intentionally hold many people down. Unfortunately, I don’t think I take very many opportunities to lift up the people He places in my path on a daily basis either.
Miry clay. This individual is sinking. I can help them or I can harm them. If I choose to walk away and do nothing, well, I’m still choosing between help and harm.
It’s time to break the cycle, friends. It’s time to get my hands dirty.