Imagine a homeless man living on the streets. He’s able to get by never having more than he needs, but always having enough to survive. Then one day a man showed compassion on him by giving him a house to live in with all the amenities, free of charge. Consequently, this formerly homeless man was able to live in great comfort.
However, as time passed, this benefactor underwent a change of heart regarding his generosity. Circumstances caused him to rethink all the acts of kindness he had shown the former homeless man. The first indication of his changed mindset was that he removed the air conditioning from the house. Several months later, he turned off the running water. And finally, he cut off the electricity. Although this former homeless man no longer had some of the conveniences he once had, he was allowed to continue living in the house.
Now then, here’s my question: “What should the attitude of the former homeless man be?” Should he be “up in arms” about the conveniences that had been taken from him? Or should he be thankful for the period of time he had to enjoy them.
I believe that while he has every right to be saddened by the withdrawal of some of the conveniences to which he had become accustomed, he mustn’t lose sight of the blessings he had, while he had them. None of these things were his “right,” but were “gifts” and he should give thanks for the time he had to enjoy them.
That said, throughout history, Christianity has seldom found the favor of government. Christianity existed through hardship, persecution, and sacrifice; but it existed. We just so happened to be born in a time and place when our government has been kind to Christianity, even bestowing upon Christianity a “favored status.” But times are changing. Many of our blessings are being taken from us. Privileges we once enjoyed are now being removed. What should our attitude be? I believe the answer to this question is the same answer given to the first question.
Friends, Christianity doesn’t need governmental favor to survive and thrive. The blessings we have enjoyed and our parents have enjoyed may be taken from us tomorrow. And if so, that gives us cause for sadness, but not for despair! In fact, maybe a dose of “persecution” is just what the “Great Physician” ordered to awaken us from our spiritual lethargy and renew our zeal and commitment to God and his agenda. Such “medicine” isn’t pleasant, but it just may be good for us.
Give it some thought.