Kevin Ache – Young Adults Pastor
Last November, uproar hit our Facebook news feeds. One of the stars of the hit reality show, “Duck Dynasty” made comments about same-sex marriages and it seemed that everyone wanted in on a piece of the action. The stories were endless. I remember scrolling through what seemed like hundreds of my Facebook friends sharing a different article on their page that put a different spin on what was actually said. But people weren’t just sharing the articles on their own pages, they were commenting on others’ profiles and the articles they shared. The comment battles got filthy. I do love Duck Dynasty as a television show, but the social media fuss all of this had caused made me wonder if there was something I was missing.
“We know, care, and obsess more about the 10% of the world who earn more than we do than the 90% who earn less.”– Scott Berkun
That same week, there was something bigger going on, and social media completely missed it. America’s 47 million food stamp recipients got hit with a $5 billion benefits reduction. SNAP benefits were cut for nearly all participants by 5.4% (SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). This is equivalent to taking twenty one meals away from a family of four. Twenty-two million children (ten million who love in areas of deep poverty) and nine million elderly and disabled are all affected by the SNAP program.
Here’s what kept me up at night: Twenty-two million children and nine million elderly and disabled in the United States are struggling to eat this month, but my Facebook news feed is littered in uproar about Phil Robertson.
I think where we’ve missed the mark was getting more fired up about the “persecution” of a reality show star than the suffering and injustice of millions of people. The cause for Phil Robertson is important and should be valued, but within days of GQ’s article being released and the news of his suspension, multiple networks were offering to pick up his show and pay him millions of dollars.
Phil will be just fine.
Can we say the same about those going hungry this month?
As Christians, we’re called to love other people. In Matthew 7:12, Jesus says, “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Paul states it simply in 1 Corinthians 13:4 with, “Love is patient. Love is kind.” This Biblical definition of love isn’t about just saying it, but about doing it as well. 1 Corinthians 13:1 says, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
There are simple acts of mercy we all can do every day to show love to others. These acts do not depend on political view, wealth, ability, or intelligence, they are simple acts freely given and freely received. We can’t expect others to take on this responsibility, because we are called to take it on. Jesus demands our personal involvement in caring for others’ needs.
“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me… ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”– Matthew 25:35-36, 40
Who’s fighting for those who can’t fight for themselves? What if Christians rallied and stepped in where others have fallen short? Let’s respond to Jesus’ calling and go love the ignored.