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SCRIPTURE - MATT. 25 : 41 - 45 APRIL, 1997
THEN SHALL HE SAY ALSO TO THEM ON THE LEFT HAND, DEPART FROM ME, YE CURSED, IN TO
EVERLASTING FIRE, PREPARED FOR THE DEVIL, AN HIS ANGELS:
[PARAPHRASING VERSES 42 - 45] WHEN I NEEDED YOU, YOU DIDN'T DO ANYTHING FOR ME.
WHEN DIDN'T WE DO ANYTHING FOR YOU?? THEY ASKED.
WHEN YOU DIDN'T DO IT TO THE LEAST OF THESE MY BROTHERS, YOU DID IT NOT, TO ME.
SUBJECT - MAYBE I'M JUST PLAIN STUPID
Ever since I became saved, approximately 18 years, I have always wanted to do the things that the bible says I should do. Believe that the bible, is the Word of God. Study it, so I can know what is right and what is wrong. Then go out, and do the things that Jesus says I should do. And I have tried to follow in His footsteps, and His directions concerning relationships with, not only friends, but enemies also. [MATT. 5: 44-48], And for the most part, I believe I have been doing that, as well as I understand it. But, maybe I'm just plain stupid. Because, in the title scripture, I take it to mean, that Jesus is talking to some people, that thought they were doing what was right in God's sight, but found out they weren't, when their Lord told them that they had neglected to help the needy, or those that were in pain or sick. I, in my stupidity, also took it to mean, if someone was suffering a loss, that I should try to cheer them up, or at least try to lighten their burden, if I could. But, maybe I'm just plain stupid.
It seems that I have a lot to learn about God, and His ways. I look at [MATT. 5: 44-48], and I see, what I believe is a scripture, that tells me, that doing good to those that are my friends, profits me nothing. Even the heathen do that. If I am to show the love of Christ, I have to go one better. Verse 44 says, love my enemies, bless them that curse me, do good to them that hate me, and pray for them that despitefully use and persecute me. Now, amidst all of that, I am told that Jesus, who is my Lord, and Leader, did the same thing toward me, when I, and the rest of you, were His enemies [ROM. 5:10] . While we were yet in sin, Christ died for us [ROM. 5:8]. Christ set the example, and I'm supposed to follow it, right??? But, maybe I'm just plain stupid.
To me, the theme of the bible, as it pertains to my fellow man, is to love them. This love, can easily be spoken, but we must go further than that. We are to be doers, as well. I can profess my love for my wife and children, all day long. But if I don't put some type of action with it, then they will not be certain of that love. But, maybe I'm just plain stupid. There are many times that I feel like saying, 'I'm tired of going to work everyday, and putting up with the nonsense I have to put up with. Maybe I'll just quit.' Now, that would be fine, if I didn't have others depending on me, for their support. But, I do, so, even though I don't feel like it, I go to work, anyway. But, maybe I'm just plain stupid.
As far as friends go, the same thing holds true. If someone is a friend of mine, then I will do whatever I am able to do, within reason, to support them, when they need it, whether they ask me or not. Some times, they may be too proud to admit they want help or support, but if I see the need, I will respond. But, maybe I'm just plain stupid. Many times, in the past, people have done things for me, that I wasn't even aware that they knew there was a problem, and they came to my aid. And the same is true for me, when it came to doing something for someone, that I didn't even know. The bible says, 'whatsoever you would have men do to you, do it unto them.' It also says, ' whatsoever you sow, that shall you also reap.' Maybe I'm just plain stupid, but, to me, that means, if I want people to love and be concerned about me, then I ought to be the initiator of that love and concern. I believe that is what God wants.
We wonder why there is so much trouble in the world. Maybe it is because, most people, spend their time, thinking about their own personal happiness and well being. They don't want to have to put forth any effort to help another individual, if they don't have everything right in their lives. But, maybe I'm just plain stupid. If we allowed ourselves to be inconvenienced once in a while, to say a kind word, or do a little something for someone else, even if we don't know them, then it could very well be, that that, is what may be missing in our lives, that would bring us fulfillment.
You might ask, is there something that I am trying to say?? Yes there is. Let me tell you a story, a true story. There was an individual, that worked in a factory, that employed many people. They had been working there for many years. One day, a person came to them and said, 'I'm taking a collection for Charlie Smith. His mother passed.' This person said, 'I don't think I know him, but here is a dollar, anyway.' About two weeks later, this person, who gave the dollar, had a death in their family, and had to take off. A friend of this person, while taking up a collection for them, went to the person, who had been taking the collection for Charlie Smith, and to Charlie Smith himself, seeking donations. To this friend's surprise, they both said, 'I don't want to give anything, because I don't know them.' Maybe I'm just plain stupid, but this doesn't seem to be quite fair. One person gives money to someone they don't know, for another person they don't know. But, when the tables are turned, nothing. But you haven't heard the worse, yet. Among the group of people asked to donate money, were a couple of people, that claim to be Christians, and they said the same thing. Maybe I'm just plain stupid, but I see a little hypocrisy here. Especially when, another person, who was friend of the one collecting the donations said, 'I don't think I know them, but, because you know them, I will give at least a dollar.' Now the person that told the story, didn't know if this person was a Christian or not, but I would say, he did more to exemplify what Christ did for us, and said, than these Christians. Then, to top that off, when this person came back to work, some of these people, had the nerve to come up and tell them, how much they missed them. Maybe I'm just plain stupid, but to me, that takes a lot of gall. Within a week, one of these same people, had a death in their family, and when they came to the one that knew that they didn't give to their friend, gave anyway.
Is it any wonder that people find it hard to believe there is a God, when those that profess to be believers in Him, through Jesus Christ, have attitudes like that?? Maybe I'm just plain stupid, but, I believe that this situation falls in the same category of the subject verses.
Another funny thing is, that in many other situations, these same people give money to charities like the United Way, the Red Cross, and others. They donate blood, and organs to strangers. But I guess it takes all kinds. Sometimes, I wonder if these people think that one day, it may be their turn to need assistance. could it be, that the reason they didn't give, is because at one time, nobody gave to them?? That is no excuse. Or maybe, they want to know the person, to see, whether they are worthy of their giving. Maybe they want to know the person, so that some time in the future, they can hold it over their heads, and say, 'YOU OWE ME.'
There is a story about a good Samaritan, found in [ST. LUKE 10 : 30 - 37], that exemplifies the things that I am trying to say. The ones that should have been giving help to this man, went right on by him. Then the Samaritan, who, in those days, was like an undesirable, to the Jews, exhibited all of what the others were supposed to do, as concerning this poor man. He gave money to take care of the man, and promised to repay any money, over and above, that was spent for his care.
The more I read my bible, and meditate on what God is saying to me, the more I think that Maybe I'm not, just plain stupid, maybe people that think like them, are.
After all, in reading the subject verse, Jesus is saying that these people are heading for hell. For something this simple, they are going to suffer eternal punishment, with the Devil and his angels. What a price to pay.
Think about your life, and the experiences you have had. Which of these people are you most like??? The 'I don't know them so I don't want to give', or the 'I don't know them, but I'll at least give a dollar.' Remember, it is not how much you give, as much as it is, that you gave something. Some of you give the numbers man, the bookie, strange women, and who knows what else, $10 and more, every day or so, but you can't give $1.00, to a co-worker. In places that have unions, this is supposed to be your union brother or sister. You know, Solidarity Forever, and all that type of stuff. But, you don't know them. No. Now that I think about it, I'm not the stupid one, You are.
This Easter season, we celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of a man, who paid the ultimate price, His life, so that we, who could be considered His enemies, could have the right to eternal life. He didn't have to do it. We certainly didn't ask Him to do it. None of us was worthy of Him doing it. There isn't enough money in all the universe, to have paid Him to do it. But, He did it because He loves us. Nothing less. How much more, then, should we love one another, than we already do???
How much harm could it do, if we helped someone out that we didn't know??? You may possibly be missing a blessing by not doing just a small thing. The bible tells me that sometimes we 'entertain angels unawares' [HEB 13:2]. It also tells me that 'he that gives to the poor, lends to the Lord [PROV. 19:17]. When we do good things to those that are needy, and don't look for any thing back from them, the Lord will repay us for our kindness. And let me tell you, when He repays us, we get far more in return, than we gave out. So, who is the stupid one??? Think about it.