Thursday, September 16, 2010

"For I was hungry and you gave me food..."

On the way home from campus this afternoon, I stopped at the bank to drain more money out of my bank account. As I approached the building, I passed by a young lady standing up against the wall. She wore a lot of makeup, wearing a gray t-shirt that was a little too large for her thin frame. Her long brown hair descended to her shoulders in a rather unkempt manner, adding to her "rough" appearance.

As I passed by her on the sidewalk, she spoke up.

"Can you help me out with a few dollars?"

I stopped and looked at her.

"I need to get a hotel room for the night."

Rather reflexively, I lied, "Hey, I'm a college student, if I had the money, I'd give it to you; sadly, I don't."

She pressed me no further, and I walked away.

I have plenty of money in my bank account.

Later on the drive home, I began to ponder my decision. Why did I choose not to help? Her rough appearance had led me to believe that she must be abusing substances, and I certainly wouldn't want to contribute anything toward a destructive habit.

But Matthew 25:35 kept running through me head:

"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me..."

I hoped she didn't notice the two crosses that hung from my neck. I hoped she didn't think:

Another Christian refusing to help me.

I judged upon her upon her appearance. But it's not my responsibility to judge. It's my responsibility to love and to be charitable...To welcome a stranger.

But I didn't and I wasn't.

I failed at being a Christian.

If I were fully confident she wasn't going to use the money on a destructive habit, I would have given willingly...But that's a moot point.

I judged instead of loved.

And that is unbecoming of the crosses around my neck.