Choose Giving

Today was a mighty day in the world of social media, and in the country at large.The Affordable Care Act was determined to be Constitutional by the Supreme Court. The media had me convinced that the court would side with the Republicans and strike it down. I am incredibly grateful that they did not. For one thing it IS Constitutional and finding it so was the right thing to do. The court had lost its way and this was the first step to finding its way back. The Richmond Register ran a really thought provoking piece on this idea called “Our Supreme Court has Lost Its Honor” I think today’s decision gives me hope that we might be able as a country to return to the principles we used to have.

I entered into debate with a young lady on Twitter after regrettably losing my normal tact and graciousness with another individual who had opined sarcastically that “if you work hard the government was going to give your money to a piece of trash that didn’t wake up until 1:30 in the afternoon.” I may have scolded him in less than ladylike terms for calling another human being trash. The lady in question then jumped in to clarify that no I was in fact stupid for defending “trash that don’t do anything for a living.” I think I said, “Yeah because people are only valuable if they produce something. Nice.” We ended up debating the value of humanity versus money for quite some time with me arguing for humanity and she defiantly insisting that she would rather keep every cent than let it go to some “hobo.”  I said, “Save a dollar versus save a life? Well, to each his own, but I couldn’t live with myself. You act like money is God.” She kept reciting very angry and fearful remarks about people taking things from her and giving it to someone who didn’t deserve it. It was all so sad. This is the whip the right uses to keep their base in line. Fear and loathing. Fear of the other. “I’m not like that hobo! I’m not like that high school drop out. I’m not like that woman with too many kids. I’m not like that homeless person. That drug addict. That welfare recipient.” Well, you could be. But for the grace of God. Have you no compassion? You know what else? God is within every single person you are talking about. EVERY SINGLE ONE. What you do to the least of these, you do to me. That vitriolic hatred you are spewing? You are talking about God. That contempt and disrespect in your voice when you talk about the President, God hears that. In case you are having trouble understanding me, just pray. God is within you too. It’s his voice that prompts you to open the door when you see someone struggling with a bag. It gives you a twinge when you see a person asking for a handout.

Here’s the thing, Jesus didn’t say give to those in need if they use it for what you think they should use it for. He said to give. Is the giving for the person who receives or is the giving for the person who gives? Who is the real beneficiary? Remember when Jesus told the rich man to give all of his possessions away and give them to the poor if he wanted to get into Heaven? That was so HE COULD GET INTO HEAVEN. It was incidentally for the poor. When you stand before God do you want to explain to him that you didn’t want to give because you were concerned they wouldn’t spend it in a way that you approved of? Is it your job to judge? Didn’t you feel the little twinge that was God moving you to give? Why didn’t you obey?

Fear and anger can deafen us and make it impossible to hear God’s voice. Fear is one of evil’s most powerful weapons. I’ve spent much of my life waging a war on fear, in fact courage is the war on fear. You can be afraid, but you cannot let it rule you. You cannot let it define you. Any decision made  under its influence will inevitably be the worst decisions of your life. The worst evils and atrocities visited on the human race were caused by fear.

You can teach yourself to fight it. For me it’s a habit. The minute I feel it I no longer run away or avoid whatever it is, I have the exact opposite reaction. The more afraid I am, the more obsessed I become. I have to face it, deal with it in order to conquer it, to overcome it. I will not let it rule me.If it’s something I’ve never done before, I research it to death, commit to it wholeheartedly and fake it til I make it. No guts, no glory right?

I also use this technique: What’s the absolute worst thing that can happen? I imagine every awful scenario I can think of. I have yet to think of one I can’t handle. It’s a wonderful fear killer. The only thing I couldn’t handle would be letting God down. You know what I think letting him down would entail? Not fighting for the people who can’t fight for themselves. So think about that lady who is so terrified of the Hobo who has nothing, afraid that the lady on welfare is going to use her tax dollars to take her sick kid to the doctor. No one is taking anything from her, but she has a golden opportunity to give.

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