Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Don’t plan with a concern for evil in mind. Does God really mean for us to plan without taking the evil around us into account? “Love…thinks no evil” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). Love is not ignorant of the existence of evil, but it does not take it into account as a factor in planning. When we were apart from God, we did take evil into account, doing all of our planning with it in mind, and we tried to reason out all of our work from its standpoint.”
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (July 5)
Have you ever thought that life would be better if this one person was no longer around? I do not mean that you have gotten to the point of planning to kill them, just…
Ouch! I thought everybody has thought that for a fleeting moment. In my family growing up, they felt that the commandment to not kill was a great idea (people, but killing animals is part of farm life), but I have heard talk at family gatherings about how “first-class-killings” were acceptable if the circumstances were dire. I think they were joking. They were usually talking politics at the time, and I know none of my relatives has ever assassinated anyone. Okay, there was the time when Uncle *—* went missing for a couple of weeks when some politician was shot at …
Of course, I am just joking about Uncle *—*, and that is not his real name anyway, allegedly.
But what evil would a Christian plan?
When we first moved to SW Pennsylvania, we drove around to see how to get from here to there. It is quite difficult in the Pittsburgh area. We learned that there are valleys roads, ridge roads, and a few that tie one to the other, and if you do not know how to get there, you could drive in circles for hours.
But why bring up these driving adventures? In our first two-hour tour, we found a half dozen billboards advertising that insurance fraud was against the law. “You will be caught. You will be imprisoned.” Why pay so much to advertise? Never in our lives had we seen advertisements that advertised that a certain law was being enforced. Should not all laws be enforced? They advertised because it is a cottage industry in the area and the billboards do not slow people down. A common dodge is to claim workers’ compensation disability and then work “under the table” – meaning payment for work in cash to avoid taxes on the income and avoid getting caught working while collecting disability insurance payments because you cannot work.
Could a Christian get caught in that trap? It might be hard for a true believer, but when there is seemingly no other way to put food on the table… But no, I could not do it.
I have heard of people in very ritzy neighborhoods that go to a thrift store and buy the most seedy of clothing. They get the clothing dirty, putting dirt on their face also. They then go to the next town over or two towns over to panhandle, claiming to be homeless, just to help make the house payments on a house that they could not afford in the first place.
I have heard of people claiming soft tissue pain, mental disorders, etc. to get on government aid programs when nothing was physically or mentally wrong with them. According to one alleged report from an evaluator, “The woman was so obnoxious, we signed off on her disability just to get rid of her. It was mentally cruel to us just having her in the building to be evaluated.”
And can a Christian claim that their profession is gambling? Are you not preying on the gullibility of others, taking money from them that if the truth were known, they could not afford to give up that money? Yes, we are all adults here, but we should not plan to take money away from others, even when they are crazy enough to risk the money. There is no way in my mind to justify that, but then I do not gamble. I would have a hard time winning the lottery knowing that the cash received came from people who might not be able to afford losing the money.
Whenever a friend suggested a side job to make extra income, I weighed the benefit versus whether the stuff I would sell door-to-door was a reasonably priced item or watered-down junk. After the evaluation, I always declined. Practically every “get-rich-quick” scheme means that others lose.
My wife asked me the other day why I complain about her giving too much to other family members when I do the same thing. “Too much” in that we cannot afford to give hardly anything. Yet, we try to help people, especially family. We have a roof over our heads and some others do not or did not at the time they asked for help.
And Love always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres.
But then, we need to include our giving into our plan, the plan that God is involved in making. After all, it is really His plan.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.