Exodus 22:22-23, “You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear his cry; . . .”
Romans 12:15-16, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.”
People As a Means
Robert Caro noted that the men President Lyndon Johnson used in his climb to political power resented only that his manipulative skills exceeded their own. The idea of using people as a means to an end did not bring remorse or surprise to either side. Each simply wanted to weigh the scales in its favor: use more than it got used and intrigue to be ahead at the end. Exploitation is the world’s way. People concentrate on self-aggrandizement, not service; of taking from others, not giving.
It is a violent betrayal of Christ’s life and teaching. He demonstrated the importance of individuals as an end in themselves, not as a means by which others can prosper. This has significant consequences for each Christian. Can we rejoice in the wealth of another, even if we don’t prosper? Can we thank God for another’s success, even if we fail? Can we delight in the advancing career of another, even if ours languishes?
Courtesy of Speaker’s Sourcebook of New Illustrations by Virgil Hurley copyright © 1995 by Word, Incorporated. Used by permission.
*Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Nations would be terrified if they knew by what small men they were ruled. – Charles Talleyrand
It is with men as with wheat: the light heads are erect even in the presence of Omnipotence, but the full heads bow in reverence before Him. – Unknown
The final estimate of men shows that history cares not an iota for the rank or title a man has borne, or the office he has held, but only the quality of his deeds and the character of his mind and heart. – Samuel Brengle
As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do. – Andrew Carnegie