Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Favoritism (02/28/05)
TITLE: My favourite, the Underdog
By Karen Jimmy
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I always thought I was a pretty generous spirit who loved all kinds of people. Having grown up going to church I had a pretty good idea about hypocrites who favoured the well-to-do types who wore the right clothes, played the right instruments and earned the big bucks needed to sustain the ministry. It was almost like, even as a kid, I made it my unconscious goal to not be like them- to make sure I showed the kindness and acceptance of Christ to everyone, especially the so-called “underdog”.
As soon as I was able (by that I mean old enough), I made myself available for all kinds of projects in aid of promoting the care of those society has either thumbed their collective noses at, or not even noticed at all. I began organising feedings of the hungry homeless in my neighbourhood; I started going on mission trips to third world nations. Of course, I got myself my very own “sponsored child” from Guatemala, and I got our Sunday school kids doing odd jobs and projects to support their own sponsored child. In a nutshell, I prided myself on my care for the underprivileged, and in the process, turned my nose up at those in the church not likewise consumed with this cause.
It wasn’t until just the other day, when I had a day off and lots of time to stop and think, that it really hit me- I, who thought I was loving, forgiving and generous to all people equally, was a prejudiced, even hateful, snob. Just like those I had rejected in my heart for playing favourites with the rich and lovely, I was playing favourites in my own way. Only my favourites were the poor and needy.
I was sitting on my bed and spending the first real time alone with God I’d had a quite a while, and I asked Him to search my heart, like David did, and show me if there was anything there that dishonoured Him or made my heart ugly. Not expecting much of an answer, I was shocked when incident after incident flashed from my memory into my consciousness. I was sickened by the blackness of my heart, the thoughts I’d had towards those in my church I perceived were stuck in an unreal world, concerned with frivolous things, and neglecting the things I thought were more important.
It hit me smack between the eyes at that moment, that I was not the righteous person I pretended to be, and I was just as fake as those I detested. I was critical, judgmental and arrogant. I was full of pride, and instead of being the example of Jesus’ compassion I fancied myself as, I was a prejudiced coward. I hated the rich; I hated people who refused to mingle with those outside their “comfort zone” (as if I wasn’t doing exactly the same thing). I hated the “airy-fairy, super-spiritual” people who were, as they say, “too heavenly minded to be any earthly good.” I was, in short, playing favourites, and my attitude stank.
I can’t say that much has changed since that revelation. I think if you could picture me in God’s throne room I’d be sitting like a stunned mullet (excuse the Australian expression if you don’t get it- translated, it means ‘in shock’), mouth gaping in disbelief, mind probing for an excuse for my detestable hatred.
I guess at least a conviction has started to grow in my heart, and I am feeling once again like I did when I first understood Jesus’ love- that unconditional, non-prejudiced love of His…I am feeling humbled.
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