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Why Do You Care About Them?

Why Do You Care About Them?

Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Genesis 18:23-24

Nine years ago this week, with my life an absolute wreck, I sat in treatment at Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge in Minneapolis. I needed to be in treatment, but it was the last place I wanted to be. The state’s health professionals addiction program recommended that I go to an upscale treatment center that catered to people like me, but I ended up at this urban program that, to my knowledge, had never treated a physician. When I arrived, I quickly got the feeling that I didn’t belong. These were bad people – drug dealers and lowlifes. Once I began group therapy however, I realized that our problem was the same. The surrounding details were different, but our addictive thoughts and behaviors were almost identical. It was a humbling experience to be among these sinners, realizing that I was one of them. I belong here.

Now, in recovery, this is my life mission – To use my struggle to help those who struggle similarly. Fifteen years ago, I didn’t care enough about those in jail or treatment to go to them. I may have even looked down on them. Now though, having been there, I feel compassion instead of condescension. I want to help.

Compassion for the lost is the message of today’s passage. In it, God confided to Abraham that he was going to destroy the evil city of Sodom. In response, Abraham repeatedly bargained with God, asking him to spare the city for the sake of just a few good people. In truth, there was only Abraham’s nephew, Lot, who was righteous. Abraham wanted Lot’s family to be spared, but he could have just asked God to get them out. Instead, Abraham interceded for the entire city, begging God to relent.

God save them. That’s what I must daily pray for those whom I see in need. It’s easy to look down on those sinners. The truth though, is that I’m a sinner and God has saved me from myself. I was once lost, drowning in the old life, but now, because of Christ, I can daily dwell in the blessed new life. If I have nothing but condescension for those who’re struggling, then I’ve forgotten what it was like to struggle and I’m blind to the fact that I’m drowning in the sin of my own pride. Since God has saved me from the disaster of my old life, I must daily point others to the new life. I’ve been there and God saved me. That’s why I care about them.

 

Author’s Note: You may have noticed that there was no blog for the last couple of days. The blog experienced technical difficulties and I was unable to publish. It appears we’re back up and running now. Thanks for reading!

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