Sunday, September 25, 2011

Those People

I wrote this post a few months ago, and didn't want it to be taken wrongly, so I hesitated to hit "publish." But, once again, I've been thinking on these things and asking God to make me a merciful person ~ one who pours out grace on people who don't deserve it. I hope you'll be challenged to do the same.

I've been thinking today of the people I don't like to help and "waste" my time on:

The people who really don't want to change bad enough to do it.

Those people that hate their messed up lives, but they refuse to do anything different.

The people that call and whine about their husband and kids and work and house....

....and want ME to come over and make their life all better.

I have lots of friends with struggles. I help a lot of people. I usually enjoy it.

But those people...

Well, that's a different story.

They don't even try.

They don't even care.

They're always a victim.

Do they ever think about anyone other than themselves?

My mom and I were discussing a couple of people today ~ people who want our help and counsel on a near-daily basis. We've been helping and advising for years, but not much has ever changed.
They're still floundering and depressed and tell us that they can't function like we do because their lives are so bad, while ours are so good. (They actually have more money, less kids, less health problems, and waaay less work and duties and responsibilities than we do, but that's beside the point.)

Mom's more inclined to keep helping them and helping them and helping them. She's almost eternally patient with people. Even bad and ungrateful people.

I've helped them for years; driven them to the ER at really inopportune moments when their kids had sore throats and I thought it was silly to go, but they insisted that they had to. I've given up my bedroom so they could stay there for a few days after they'd just had a big fight with their husband. I've watched their kids for long days when I was already so behind with my own work that I could have cried. I've cleaned their refrigerators when they'd been left in a nauseating mess for weeks or months. I've loaned them money and sometimes they've paid it back. I've let them drive my cars, and let their kids use {and break} my stuff. I've given them some of my favorite clothes, just because they really wanted them, and they didn't have many. I've wiped their kids' vomit off our floors and couches... and sometimes I've become sick myself after spending the day with their sick kids. I've invited them to come along when I really just wanted to have a day with my fun friends and family.

I do this same stuff for other people, and it doesn't bother me because they value my help, and they do their best to get back on their feet and to say thank you and to just be nice about it.

But those people....

I was about done being a servant to those people.

My unloving and unmerciful advice to Mom about someone today: She needs to just learn that everyone's life is hard and she needs to deal with it and wash her dishes and take care of her own kids even though she doesn't feel like doing anything. And she needs to learn that we don't have time to talk to her for an hour a day if she's just going to whine about her life and her husband and not going to act on any of the advice she asks for. She hasn't changed a bit in the five years that we've been her friend, even though she always swears that she will.

The words were barely out of my mouth when I wondered what I look like to God.

Do I ever feel like one of those girls who will never learn and will never change?

Do I look like the person who says she loves God but forgets Him five minutes later?

Do I look like a hopeless case?

Do I repent and turn from my besetting sins, only to find myself back there again and again and again? Asking forgiveness again?? Like I'll never learn, never walk on in victory?

Does God ever see that it's me, calling heaven again and sigh that it's... me?

What does God think when He sees me not even caring.... not even trying?

He had compassion on me when I was His enemy.

He loved me when I didn't want to change.

He made an eternal covenant for my soul, even though He knew I wouldn't be faithful.

He loves with perfect love, when I stumble along and don't even realize how lost I am.

He keeps drawing my heart to Him when I have no idea what a mess I am.

Maybe when He said, "Go, and do likewise" and He pointed at fellow messed up people,
He really meant to help the people who will always be a mess.

Maybe He meant to show mercy to those people.

I think He did.

'Cause that's what He does for me every day of my existence.


Folky Dots said...

Ah Mary this struck me at my core. I have so sat on both sides of this fence. How grateful I am to remember that Jesus loved me first. Impatient, selfish, grumbly me.

God bless you as you endevour to serve him

Anonymous said...

Oh Mary. Thank you so for sharing this. I needed the reminder, both of what He has done for me and what He has called me to do for others.

Jessica S. said...

Sometimes I don't like to waste my time helping people who don't use that help to become self reliant. Or that don't learn from what I am offering.
But then I think of Christ, who helped everyone knowing they wouldn't learn. And he would help them over and over again.
Then I think of how He died on the cross for so many who didn't care and would never learn of Him or follow His teachings.
He did that for me and all other humans ever, then I can try to help those that don't seem to want/care for/learn from my help because maybe I am the one that needs the learning/help/care for.
Thanks for your post!

MommaMindy said...

Thank you for the gracious reminder to keep on serving. It is SO hard. It's especially hard when it seems the help cost more than I was originally willing to give, either of time, emotions or money. Thank you for sharing your moms example, it's very encouraging.

Anonymous said...

Yes, God does still love us when we're in our messes. But He leaves us in our messes, doesn't He? He's right there, right outside the door, waiting on that woman to get up and walk out of that abusive situation. But He isn't washing her dishes or making it easier for her to stay in that situation because that's not where He wants her to be. There is a difference in being a spiritual guide and being a doormat. Plus, how can you preach of a God you don't trust enough to let Him handle "those people's" situations? Tell them to trust God. Tell them to pray. But then back up your faith and let the dishes and unpaid bills pile up. How is the God you tell these people about supposed to prove Himself if you're all up in His business? He's got this. Really. Have some faith, don't answer the phone the next time it rings and say a little prayer for "those people" while having fun with your family.