Saturday, August 12, 2017

how we treat them now

St John Chrysostom talks to us today about power in A Year with the Church Fathers. He says that we should avoid riches because they give us the ability to hurt those who have hurt us, and that's not something we should strive for.

But it brings up a good lesson. How do we treat those who are vulnerable to our criticism? If you've ever worked in retail, you know how it can be. If you want to keep your job, you have to bite back the angry retort that you want to hurl at some people who treat "the help" execrably simply because they can and the retail worker has to take it.

How do YOU treat "the help"? Are you patient with them when they make mistakes? Do you say please and thank you to them, treating them with respect and recognizing their dignity?

This is a good test for us. Jesus said that those who do well with the little they're given will be given more. And that those who don't will find even what little they had to be taken away. I think power might be a good example of this teaching. If you use your power for good, God will give you more so that you can do MORE good. If you misuse your power, He will take away even the little you had.

Is this universally true? One glance at the political scene today tells you that God does not always take power away from those who misuse it. At least, not in the short term. But for those of us who follow Him, He teaches us by giving us things and by taking them away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

God, please teach us to use the little power we have for good, to make people's lives better.