1 Corinthians 1:27-29
What do the elderly, the mentally handicapped, and children have in common?
These individuals are a walking example of exaggerated sin!
Now before you waltz out of here thinking I am a heartless person with a very bad punchline, let’s think about this, because it’s no joke.
As a blanket statement; kids, elderly people, and those with a mental disability are all linked in one crucial way. The minds of these individuals are not at the same level as the average adult. Unfortunately, this often brings about mockery, belittlement, or the cold shoulder from unspiritual people with a more “average” functioning mind. Even the most spiritual of people sometimes find themselves uncomfortable in the presence of people that don’t fit the “normal” bill according to society’s standards.
Sisters, instead of avoiding these people, we ought to be learning from them. How so? By realizing what their innocent yet awkward state can teach us about the sin in our own lives. We need to let ourselves be excavated by the exaggerated. What do I mean by that?
To remove earth carefully and systematically from an area in order to find buried remains. (synonyms: unearth, uncover, reveal)
I propose that the infirmities of others can and should serve as a method of teaching us the truth of our own inner man – causing us to dig up and expose the “dirt” beneath the surface. This is a painful yet necessary process towards building a Christ-like existance.
– When we consider the elderly who can not remember, we need to ask ourselves…
Do we remember?
It’s common to feel sad, lonely, or even frustrated in the face of Dementia. We know that generally as people age, they begin to forget things until the point they eventually forget the ones they love most. Though aged forgetfulness is innocent in nature, it can give us a good example of what sin does to people. If we drift away from the Lord, it may start slowly. It might even be undetectable at first to the world around us, but the sickness will slowly infect our minds until we have nearly forgotten all the truth that we once held dear. Natural dementia is innocent – spiritual dementia is not. When we come in contact with the elderly, we ought to learn to remember.
“Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors. Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me” – Isaiah 46:8-9
-When we consider the mentally disabled who are unaware of their actions, we need to ask ourselves…
Are we aware of our actions?
As a young child, there were a few times that I saw severely handicapped people while shopping or eating at a restaurant. I remember the feeling of confusion I had when I saw these men or women acting inappropriately and abnormally; perhaps violently thrashing themselves or others, speaking incoherently, or crying and yelling for seemingly no reason. For many, the reaction to such a sight is to turn from it in embarrasment. Is this the right response? Of course not. These poor individuals are helpless to prevent the outbursts, and we should show them compassion. However; when it comes to ourselves, we ought to look within in disgust when we act inappropriately and abnormally in the sight of our God! If it is so easy to see the mortifying actions of the mentally disabled, the innocent – how can we be blind to our own crazed behavior, when we ought to know perfectly well what we are doing? When we come in contact with the disabled, we ought to become sensitive and aware of our behavioral state.
“He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.” – Proverbs 2:7
-When we consider children, who keep making the same mistakes over and over again…
Do we make the same mistakes over and over again?
Sometimes parenting is exhausting. It seems that the phrase “If I’ve told you once I’ve told you a million times” just might be an understatement. When it comes to the simplest things, children need to be taught. Then they need to be taught again. And again. And again, and again, and again! It can feel like the teaching never ends. Then when we feel like they’ve finally got a handle on our teaching, they forget, and the process starts all over again. Does this resemble our spiritual life? Do we keep falling over and over again and never grow or improve? Children we will give grace to, for eventually they grow up and wise up…but let’s be cautious that we as christian adults do not keep falling back to our sin, because again – we know better. This holds us accountable. When we come in contact with children, we ought to be reminded to learn from our mistakes.
“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” – Ephesians 4:14-15
All of the people I have mentioned are an exaggerated example from God of what we could be without Him. I would be remiss if I failed to mention that the maladies of the elderly, handicapped, and children are of a physical nature, and without condemnation. Even so, these innocents can give us an excellent picture of what might be going on inside us of a spiritual nature. It’s as if these were speaking the exact same thing to us as our Lord when He said, “this is my body which is given for you” – their conditions are on this earth for us to learn from as I stated above. Let us be christian women who remember, who are aware of our actions, and who grow and improve instead of make the same mistakes over and over again. Let us thank God for the strength of mind we have – that He has made us perfectly capable of choosing Him and living a faithful life according to His purpose.
God bless, and take a chill pill!