Monday, September 27, 2010

It Doesn't Affect Me

Women of Faith:

Have you ever been asked to take a stand on a moral, church or political issue and said, “It doesn’t affect me?” I know I have, especially when I was younger and didn’t understand the direct (or indirect) affect that those decisions I made had on others.

This saying often comes from “a false sense of security,” “a complacency,” that as long as I do right, it doesn’t make any difference what the rest of my family or my community does around me.

Like the food chain we learned in middle school biology, when I make a choice, or take a stand, or allow someone else to do so, it DOES affect others--family, community, or world. Even a relatively easy decision like going shopping can affect all three: my purchase has spent money that could have been used for a more “needy” purpose in my family, or the money could have been used to make a payment on debt/credit card (community), or to feed the needy (world)—and my time could have been spent with my spouse or my children doing the more “simple” –staying home (family), visiting a sick or lonely friend (community) or helping at a food shelter (the world).

In Sunday’s first reading, Amos is pretty clear about how “complacency” is affecting the people of Zion—the people are eating the lambs and calves and enjoying their treasure “luxury” (ivory) while the poor are starving: “Thus says the LORD the God of hosts: Woe to the complacent in Zion! Lying upon beds of ivory, stretched comfortably on their couches, they eat lambs taken from the flock, and calves from the stall! Improvising to the music of the harp, like David, they devise their own accompaniment.” Am 6:1a, 4-7

I read one of those internet “forwards” the other day about a mouse who asked each of his “larger” animal friends for help—everyone said “it doesn’t affect me;” in the end each of them dying because of the indirect cause and affect we have on each other.

It is pretty clear what God calls us to do: “But you, man of God, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called.” 1 Tm 6:11-16

Yet the problems facing our society today: the rich getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer; a 60% divorce rate; 4000 abortions a day and same sex marriage—just because I am making the “right choice;” just because “I” choose to follow the commandments, doesn’t mean I should allow “free choice” because it is “their life,” “their choice.” Our choice to follow Jesus, means we would lay our lives down for another, just as He did for us. But are we willing, are we spreading God’s word, are we attempting to tell others the truth, especially our children and friends, God’s truth, and most importantly, are we following God’s truth ourselves?

These are tough choices, these are not popular choices. We are in a spiritual war, and war is not easy. But I don’t think we can just sit back and say nothing; I don’t think we can “expect” our children to realize that society’s teachings are not God’s teachings. As church going Christians, we are the “larger,” while there are some that may not listen, there are many others that do not know God at all, because there has been no one to teach them, to show them God’s truth. Life is not easy, we may even suffer for making the “right” choice, or for speaking God’s truths, but just as it is the military’s duty to defend our country, so is it our duty to defend the teachings of Christ.

It is our job to teach not only our children the faith, but also to let our friends know when a particular choice, or a society choice, is not fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. And it is our duty as Christians to vote our faith. (See the attached article by Father Corapi.)

Dear God: Praise Your Truth, praise Your Righteousness. Help me to pursue Your Truth and Your Righteousness. Forgive me for being a “slow learner.” Give me the grace and knowledge to make the tough decisions, to speak the Right Truth, Your Truth. And let Your Spirit be with me in passing Your Truth to those around me, with patience, understanding and true love. Amen.

Search for God’s Truths. Choose the Truth. Spread the Truth.


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