Thursday, April 22, 2010

Devotional 210410

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Thank God for a gorgeous day. And thank God for giving me life to enjoy this day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Indeed, this is the kind of life that God expects His children to enjoy. So don’t let fear, worry or pessimism to ruin your day. Seize this moment of life to fully experience the grace of our Lord for you, for your loved ones and for the people whom He puts in your neighborhood.

Jesus said, “The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (John 10:2-3). Anytime that we move from personal names to abstract labels or graphs or statistics, we are less in touch with reality and diminished in our capacity to deal with what is best and at the center of life. Yet we are encouraged on every side to do just that. In many areas of life the accurate transmission of our social-security number is more important than the integrity with which we live. In many sectors of the economy the title that we hold is more important than our ability to do certain work. In many situations the public image that people have of us is more important than the personal relations that we develop with them. Every time that we go along with this movement from the personal to the impersonal, from the immediate to the remote, from the concrete to the abstract, we are diminished, we are less. Resistance is required if we will retain our humanity.

As some sociologists describe, we are living in dehumanized culture. People are no longer being treated as dignified human beings. We are seen as just ‘things’ or commodities for consumption. When human beings become just statistics, we don’t need to deal with their feelings or aspiration in life. When people interact with a person based on his or her title, they don’t want to know their personality, family, health condition, emotional struggle and relational issue with God. We get used to diminish people to just the functional aspect of life that you are interested. That’s why we feel odd to reach out to our coworkers in office. Even if you do, people will immediately put up their defense without knowing why you care about them as human beings. It may cause them to doubt your motive for ‘drawing so close’ or being so ‘personal.’ Some will choose to keep a distance and remain impersonal. But if you brave through this ‘suspicious’ testing period, people will appreciate your effort in treating them like a human being and as a friend. Jesus did not treat us as one of the statistics of believers. He treats us as an individual friend. Jesus said, “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).

Love you as a common friend of Christ,

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