Friday, August 10, 2018

Heaven won’t help you if you hurt the vulnerable

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

We know the character of God whenever we read the Gospels and take a good look at the character of Jesus.
Remember what Jesus said about those who hurt children — and I think He meant everyone who is vulnerable?
Jesus said that whoever welcomes the child — again, children as exemplars of the vulnerable — welcomes Him, but whoever causes the child and others who are vulnerable to stumble, that it would be better for that person to be drowned with the largest millstone around their neck at the bottom of the deepest sea. Yes, there is hyperbole in that, but who of us would test Jesus?
So, the question remains, who exactly is vulnerable? This is a very good question to ask, because we can all be surprised to find that the vulnerable are everywhere. And would we cause them to stumble?
Not only are the vulnerable everywhere, in children, in the infirmed, in those with disabilities, in those who have precious little knowledge, the physically weaker, those meek of spirit, and truly those who have no or very little power; those for whom power over them can be misused and abused.
The wisest thing any of us can do is
to honour God
to the extent that we would
never misuse or abuse the power God gives us.
The second wisest thing any of us can do is
to confess any misuse or abuse of power,
and to repent of it.
No one is beyond the grace of God.
It is only the lost who can be saved. It is only the person who cares for others who shows they know God. It is only the person who is connected with their capacity to do wrong, that sees their wrong, who demonstrates they’re illuminated by the Lord.
Some of the most vulnerable people
in the ordinary, everyday flow of life
are those who are caring enough to trust much.
They open themselves up to love,
to receive love as they give love,
exposing themselves to both
be loved and abused.
Heaven won’t help the person who intentionally hurts the vulnerable person; the person who places trust into would-be hurtful hands. It won’t end well for the person who spurns that person’s trust.
God’s voice echoes throughout ALL eternity,
‘Vengeance is mine!’
Think about this for a moment: the person who trusts another person wholeheartedly has made themselves vulnerable for the purposes of love. That is a love that must be cherished and stewarded wisely.
Another wise thing to ever do
is to continually seek of God,
‘Who here, Lord, is vulnerable,
and how is it that they are,
and how do you charge me
to protect their vulnerability?’
God will one day hold us all to account on how we cared for the vulnerable. He seems so silent now, but there will be a reckoning, of that we must be sure.
Perhaps the greatest rub in a message like this is for those of us everywhere who have vulnerable ones in our homes, and in other secret places — where we think nobody knows; but God knows! — where our performance is not on a public stage — where we are truly known. Where we might seem to get away with inappropriate behaviours. Where the vulnerable do not have the protection we ought to provide them. Situations where gaslighting won’t protect an abuser.
The sorry irony of this message is that the person who needs it most won’t even read it, let alone apply it. They refuse to see themselves as culpable, when, in another flash of irony, the vulnerable do see themselves as capable of misusing and abusing power, if only they had it.
The caring soul admits their capacity
for the sin of abuse,
and is hyper aware,
and because they are,
they rarely if ever engage in it.
The epitome of courage is the
vulnerability that trusts itself to love.

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