Thursday, August 25, 2011

Actively Passive?

The idea of loving others is not exactly a new idea to me. As a Christian this is not a suggested way of life, but rather a command. I'm not attempting to be prideful when I say that I have gotten better in learning not to judge others; as I have. However avoiding a behavior is far more passive than actively trying to live out a new behavior. Sitting in a room studying Scripture is important, as is not being judgemental; but walking out of the room and acting out the scripture is much more important. Likewise, actively showing love is far more important than just avoiding being judgemental.

Just recently I was pumping gas and I saw a man sweeping up the parking lot. He asked if he could pump my gas (never asked for money) and when I said I was fine, he went on to others. While I don't know for sure, I am guessing that he was someone out of work and looking to make a few dollars. Hands reaching out for an offering seems to be out on every street corner in my area these days. Yet after I dismissed him I began thinking I should have done something. Perhaps I could have offered him a dollar or two and let him pump my gas, or perhaps struck up some meaningful conversation. There had to be some grand plan He had in mind when our paths crossed, right?

As I pulled away and prayed about how to handle this situation the next time, the answer was far more simple than I was expecting. Talk! Just look at, smile, and talk to the person. While small talk may not be very profound in some of my relationships; smiling and striking up a conversation with a stranger about the weather could lead to laughs, love, and some great moments.

It occurred to me that this passive nature lurks in the dark and grey realm of apathy. It may not seem apathetic, but holding my tongue or taking captive every thought *(2 Cor 10:5) is only part of the equation. Besides, being passive, and not active in my faith, sounds an awful lot like being lukewarm:
"So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth." (Rev 3:16, ESV) 
Restraining a sinful behaviors is only truly valuable when I let His light shine through in exchange.

* "We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV)

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