Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.Matthew 25:40
I’ve never used a budget before. This probably seems very ignorant or just naive, but I’ve never made one because I’ve never thought I needed one. Until now. We have one income, rent and a mortgage.
Despite our efforts and that of our realtor our house in California has still not sold. We entered the market right when things were picking up and received an offer within 8 days. After 29 days of escrow and 1 day before closing the buyers backed out. Even in that short amount of time the market had considerably slowed. Our move to Maui was already set in stone, we weren’t going to back out at this point.
When my parents got married they didn’t have much money. In fact, they completely ran out of money on their honeymoon. Luckily, they remembered the cards from their wedding they had stowed in the glove compartment and ripped them open to find enough to get them back home. I have been fortunate enough to grow up in a time of prosperity, where my parents worked hard and did well, providing everything I needed and most of what I wanted.
Tonight, I made my first budget. And it made me really sad. Thinking of all the things I wanted to purchase to make our new home adorable and things I would have to do without, like an awesome rug in the family room and a fancy barbeque for our freshly caught fish. Then I stopped to listen to myself. How shallow was I being? There I was, in a cozy chair in front of my iMac, wearing my plush robe and warm, fuzzy socks, and getting upset about how poor I am when my eyes filled with tears. I am so rich. I have a husband who loves me, family and friends I know I can always count on, a home from where I can watch the sun return to the ocean each night, and a God who will provide absolutely everything I need. I am so rich.
Ashamed of myself I asked, how can I be a better person? How can I help those who have so much less than me? Like my Uncle Gary said in a powerful sermon he recently gave, we are looking for the thirsty, the hungry, the shivering, the homeless, the sick, and the imprisoned. It is in them that we will find Christ.
The Sheep and the Goats
31-33 “When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.
34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’
37-40 “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’
41-43 “Then he will turn to the ‘goats,’ the ones on his left, and say, ‘Get out, worthless goats! You’re good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because—
I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave me no clothes, sick and in prison, and you never visited.’
44 “Then those ‘goats’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn’t help?’
45 “He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.’
46 “Then those ‘goats’ will be herded to their eternal doom, but the ‘sheep’ to their eternal reward.”