We all desire to be the kind of people others can’t miss or easily dismiss. It’s good for our self-esteem; for boosting our morale, for feeding our ego. We can’t help it. We are human after all.
There is nothing necessarily wrong with seeking due respect for our person and principles. The only thing is, the drive to keep being someone unmissable is the temptation to ignore people who seem ‘beneath’ us while shamelessly kowtowing to people in high positions in society so as to be in their good graces.
In the long run, people driven by this desire tend to use others for their personal gain; turning a blind eye to their feelings or the after effects of their actions. In the quest for fame, power and influence, we run the risk of losing priceless qualities like compassion, empathy and love.
Jesus, whose teachings are famously contrasting to that of this world’s throughout generations, admonishes us to care for people often overlooked in our society – the poor and needy, widows and orphans, homeless and prisoners…you name them.
Our human nature likes to invest in things and even people who promise a profitable return. That is why some like to send gifts to people whom they know would return the favor in a handsome way. Giving out alms to the poor sometimes feels like a ‘bad debt’ – precious resources lost with no hope of recouping it.
Even as believers, we sometimes tend to look for Jesus in the high places and forget that He can be found in the lowly unassuming places as well. After all, the King of Kings wasn’t born in a palace but a stable and laid in a feeding trough. Hence, why would we only treat our well-dressed contemporaries like people made in God’s image and despise those in tattered clothes as curses of nature?
Matthew 25: 34-40 says, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (NIV)
As you go through this week, before you subconsciously overlook or dismiss someone, remind yourself that he or she is Jesus in disguise. Share a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, a meal, a donation, knowing that you are doing it for the Lord.