“Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked (Psalm 82:3,4).”
I was a little surprised when I scanned my favorite news sites today. I was looking for evidence of the same trivial drivel you usually find in them: stories about pop culture. But there was actually some serious news today.
But there were still stories and ads attracting the voyeur or just curious. The topics included vampires, cheating politicians and the greatest bods among celebrities. These type of stories provide us with some escape from the constant problems in our lives and society, but anyone who actually takes them seriously needs to get a life.
Timothy, the apostle Paul’s disciple, apparently had some trouble with some believers who paid too much attention to unimportant matters. They liked controversial issues, crazy stories and noting who was connected to who. Even worse, they were teaching people false doctrine (I Timothy 1:3,4).
The problem with these believers was that they were spending too much time on this trivia instead of being involved in God’s work. Minimally they should have been figuring out ways to love people. Instead, they were discussing meaningless junk.
It all starts with the heart. To love others, we have to have faith in God, be pure in heart and to have a good conscience (I Timothy 1:5,6). My guess is that these people lacked these qualities, so they filled their time with other things they thought would bring them fulfillment or acknowledgement.
If they wanted to really impact the lives of others in a positively, they needed to find ways to love them. For example, they could have determined to help the poor. The poor have a lot of problems. They have lost their independence, and are oppressed by people better off than they are. The poor are exploited and with their lack of resources have no chance if they end up with legal problems (Proverbs 22:7,16,22).
If we want to love people, helping the poor reclaim their lives and dignity is a good place to start. After all, we are all made in the image of God regardless of our status (Proverbs 22:2). Other people who could use our energies include children who have no parents or face being killed before seeing the light of day.
There are a myriad of opportunities out there to help people. God wants us to spend our time loving people. In fact, He doesn’t particularly for our tendency to get carried away with delight over the adventures of the wealthy and wicked.
Sure, their stories are interesting. But we’d all be better off if we were more caught up in wonder at a restored family than whether or not an actress is using Botox.