Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Help Yourself?

This morning, our trees are filled with blackbirds.  They're everywhere, and goodness, can they make a lot of noise!  Of course, it's not unusual to see such a sight on this cool, rainy morning.  What is unusual is the fact that I took several minutes this morning to actually observe their behavior, and let me tell you, they made me mad!

I watched in horror for several minutes as the greedy birds tore apart each and every squirrel's nest in the two large pecan trees.  I assume they were looking for food in the form of nuts, berries, seeds and, of course, worms and bugs.  Looking for food is one thing, but tearing apart another animal's home in order to scavenge that food is just wrong in my book!  I mean, these birds were relentless in their demolition, and I have no doubt that, by the end of the day, the squirrel's nests will be completely gone.  Poor squirrels!

Now, don't get me wrong.  I understand that the birds need to eat and that God provides for them.  However, I also know that our yard is absolutely crawling with bugs and worms of every sort, and there is also a variety of seeds and nuts on the ground.  There is food aplenty in the yard, but instead, the blackbirds have decided it would be easier or better to take from someone else.  Unfortunately, we're all too familiar with this concept, aren't we?

Before you start griping about the government or political agendas, allow me to point out that my first thought as I watched the carnage before me this morning was not of the government but rather of Christians, specifically Christians who feel the need to tear others down in order to build themselves up.  For whatever reason, they need a boost--be it spiritual, emotional or even positional--so instead of doing the hard work required to gain that boost, they take the easy route.  After all, if Person A looks bad, surely Person B will look better.

Sad to say, our churches are full of such rivalries.  Instead of spending our time reaching out to the lost or trying to encourage the saints, we're too busy trying to "one up" each other.  Just like the stingy blackbirds, we steal from others what is rightfully theirs in order to fulfill our own goals, giving little or no thought to those we are hurting in the process.

There is nothing wrong with having goals, dreams and legitimate needs, but there is everything wrong in the "blackbird approach."  God has a way for us to gain the things He desires for us to have, and that way does not involve tearing down our brothers and sisters.  On the contrary, we ought to be looking for ways to help one another instead of spending so much time and energy helping ourselves. God has ways of rewarding those that think beyond themselves.  I urge you to keep that in mind as you go about your day.

Now, does anyone know if there's a Habitat for Humanity program for squirrels?  It seems I may need to give them a call.

But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. - I John 3:17-18

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