One of the best things about our free and fair democracy, is that we get the chance to be choosy at all sorts of levels. We choose people from the President or Prime Minister, right down to who our friends are on Facebook. We choose our life’s partner, our family home, and our car. We choose where to go to church, and where to spend our holidays (and with whom!). The list is endless. There is one significant common factor in all of this, but we will come back to that.
Because we can choose people and things at one level, doesn’t mean we get to choose everything. Our children are a gift from God. We might choose our house, but not the burst pipes in winter, or the flat tyre of our chosen car. Again, the list of consequences from our initial choices could go on. There is another, but separate common factor going on here.
The bottom line is that we have one level of choice, and the common thread is that we are in control of those choices, but we are not in control of the consequences from those choices. In some ways that is a good thing, after all we may live in a democracy, but not everything is fair. There are many who are less fortunate than us. Some families become fractured, and some people get sick. There is something really sad about a young family trying to ‘make it’ in life, but who do not have a well paid job, and when serious sickness comes along, they struggle badly. Are their choices and dreams any less important? I don’t think so.
I have become very aware of two of God’s children who got very ill, and with the same disease, but in different countries. Each is treated the same as others in their own situation, as their disease worsens and spreads. One racks up a massive medical bill which can never be paid, and the other receives all necessary and top rate home and hospital care, but the family do not get a bill. Both of these good folks did not have their illness by choice, and neither was the necessary cost of treatment a choice. Each person’s care was the consequence of choices made on their behalf by their respective governments. This is not a political argument, but pointing to a higher story where God does not treat any of His children differently, or as they deserve. Nor does God pay out dependent on what we have put in. His boundless grace takes care of that, and I love the truth of God’s free, undeserved, unmerited gift of grace. As Christians, we don’t have to help the poor, it is our choice to help, or not. Here’s a thought: What if our nations grafted God’s Word right into society? Now that would be a community both of good choices, and good consequences! Just a thought.
The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. Mark 14:7 NIV and..Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8,9 NIV