Set the Tone | Community
“When you put on a…banquet…invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind…” Luke 14:13-15
Meg checked the guest list again. “Oh, not the Sims,” she said, scratching a name off the page. “Brenda’s just not…well, my kind of person.” Allie lifted a brow. “Really? I think she’s nice.” Meg shrugged impatiently. “Nice enough, but Rob doesn’t work and their kids always look dirty, I dunno…” Allie frowned. “I thought this was a neighborhood barbecue. They’re in the neighborhood.” Meg rolled her eyes and scratched off another name. “No on the Abbars. They’re Muslim. Might serve ham or something.” Allie sighed. “Meg, I don’t feel good about this. I keep thinking about Jesus’ words. Wouldn’t He want us to invite everybody? How can we minister to them if we shun them?” Meg rolled her eyes. “Now why would I spend all this time and money on people who can’t do anything for us? Not worth it. If I’m gonna go to all this trouble, I expect some payback.”
If it’s payback she wants, Meg is missing out. Jesus gave instructions that we are to bless people who can never repay us—so that He can. We can give anonymously to the poor, support an orphan overseas, serve behind the scenes, show hospitality to strangers. Meg was hoping for a temporary earthly reward that may or may not actually benefit her life. But when we seek ways to bless people that may not be “our kind,” Jesus promises an eternal heavenly reward that will benefit us forever.
What kind of payback are you expecting when you give generously, show hospitality, or invest your time?
Father, I don’t think of myself as a snob, but I do avoid certain kinds of people. I don’t go out of my way to invest my time and resources in people who don’t have anything to offer me in return. Help me change that. In Jesus’ name, Amen.