As I was walking down the hall the other day I passed two other people walking the other direction who were apparently discussing current events. One asked the other, “What do you think of the Syrian refugee situation?” I got out of earshot before I heard the reply. But the question made me wonder how I would have responded to their question. If someone asked me what I think I hope I would say, “It doesn’t matter what I think.” You see, too often my initial thoughts are based on my raw emotions and what I want. I can easily fall into the trap of making decisions, responding to questions and writing posts about how I feel, what I want and what I think. When something is as important as the issue at hand, I find that it is not quite so important what I think but rather what the Lord thinks.
As a Christians we are not called to live how we feel, how we want, or how we think. Now let me say that we are also not called to check our brains at the door (Come now let us reason together says the Lord…Isaiah 1:18). But we are called to submit our will to the Lord and to prayerfully seek His guidance in all things. Christ tells us in Luke 9:23
“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
So far, “seeking the Lord’s guidance in all things” seems to be missing in the majority of the responses I have seen in regard to the Syrian refugee crisis. I have heard people say, “We need to help people here!” And that is true. We do need to help people here. There are many things that we can and must do better as a nation and as individuals. Yet in this response, I do not see how the need to help people here precludes us from seeking the Lord’s guidance as to how we can help others.
Also, in that response, it seems I hear people saying, “We should help OUR neighbor.” This brings to mind the man in Luke 10:29 who “wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Christ then told the parable of a Jewish man who was injured on the road. He was passed by and left to die by a priest and a Levite who did not want to get involved. They had other good things to do I am sure. Ultimately the man was rescued by a Samaritan. Samaritans were hated by the Jews. The Samaritan was not concerned about who his neighbor was or the fact that this man was from an ethnic group that hated him. The Samaritan saw someone who needed help and he helped him. The Samaritan was concerned about doing the right thing. “Who is my neighbor?” the man had asked. The man who helped the one with a need proved to be a neighbor said Christ.
I hope that each of us will prayerfully and thoughtfully consider the issue. I hope each of us will consider what the Lord will have us to do and not what we want to do. Until next time, stay strong in the faith.