Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How Much Love Is Too Much Love?

I am fully aware that I struggle with focusing on technicalities. Let me break that down a little bit. Let's say, for instance, that I am driving to work and I see a woman with a stalled car on the side of the road. On one hand it seems like I should stop and help her, and in doing so demonstrate love to her and all those who are watching. Many people would stop at this point at say that helping her would be the Godly thing to do. Whether they would actually help her or not is a different story. I, however, tend to look at things from the other side of the equation all too often. Let us remember that I am going to work. At this job I have a boss. When I began that job I made a commitment to my boss to not be late to work. In stopping and helping this woman with the stalled car I run the risk of being late to work; which is compromising the integrity of the promise I made to my boss; which is wrong. So what is the right thing to do? It seems that either path I take, I am leaving someone behind. I am either passing up the opportunity to help the woman, or being unfaithful to my commitments at work. Neither option seems right, yet both seem right.

Through all of this argument, I have not once stopped to examine why I would stop and help the woman in the first place. I get so caught up in the fine print of religion that I don't even know what I am debating about. I think a lot of the time, if I would put my stupid arguments aside I might see that the options seem much clearer. Jesus called His followers to do some pretty simple things. "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Mark 12:31). Is helping this hypothetical woman, or pleasing my boss best fulfilling what Jesus meant? I cannot pretend to be Jesus, or know how He thought, but I can do my best to unpack His actions. In a scenario such as this one, I believe Jesus would reach out in love. Love is helping those who are in need. Love is not fighting with a boss who is upset that your are late. Love is explaining why you stopped to help someone. Love is taking a punishment if one is given, and not judging the boss who dealt it. Maybe I am assuming things that are not true, but I do not think I am. I can't find any stories or accounts of Jesus turning his back on people who are innocent and in need of help.

We face decisions every single day, and sadly I think that I pass up a lot of opportunities to help simply because I can justify not helping. I can justify needing to be on time to work, or any other situation I am faced with. What I believe Jesus would say regarding this dilemma is simply, "Do more. Love more." I want to be aware of people around me. Be aware that there are stories behind every set of eyes that I see. This blog is a place of honesty, and honestly I do not do a good job of this. I go to class and get rushed along in the fast-paced environment, then I rush to work, then I rush home, then I rush to relax. Where are my thoughts and my eyes all day long? On myself. This is not a "stick it to the man" statement. I don't want to promote doing things out of assumed love just so you can test whether or not your boss will reprimand you. That in and of itself is not loving. I rather want to examining in what attitude I approach loving and helping those in need. At this point in my journey, I think I am a selfish lover. Which is to say I might not be good at loving people at all.

What can I do to change this? I can do more, and I can love more. What can we all do to change this? We can do more, and we can love more. So many of life's tough decision seem so simple when we break them down. Is it plausible that I could get fired for being late to work? Yes. Yes it is, but I wish I was bold enough to take that risk. Don't you?

(Note: Thank you all for taking the time to read these words. Follow me on Twitter @matthewormand.)

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