TAKING ADVANTAGE OF ANOTHER’S WEAKNESS
Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, ‘Bring me game and prepare for me delicious food, that I may eat it and bless you before the Lord before I die.’ Now therefore, my son, obey my voice as I command you. Go to the flock and bring me two good young goats, so that I may prepare from them delicious food for your father, such as he loves. And you shall bring it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.” Genesis 27:6-10
You’ve heard the words. Or, you may have spoken them. “He won’t know the difference. He’s out of it!” This is the attitude with which Rebekah deals recklessly with her husband. Isaac is nearly blind and it’s true that he won’t know the difference if Jacob dresses up to ‘feel’ like Esau. The rest of the story is famous.
Old age invites another’s reckless behavior. Visit an elderly person who is unaware of time and it’s tempting to stay two minutes instead of twenty – just because I know they won’t remember or know the difference. God’s Spirit would ask me, “Who, in my name, are you taking advantage of?”
The feeble, frail and helpless, are the ones over whom God is most passionate. Mistreat them, and His anger is kindled. I can mistakenly believe that this only refers to the homeless or the orphans who are strangers to me. But each one I am in relationship with has a place of frailty, a tender spot where they are vulnerable to another’s cruelty. In my flesh, I am selfish and can smell an opportunity, even a small one, where I can take care of myself at their expense.
When I reach out to the feeble, to the ‘least of these, Jesus says that I am really serving Him. I am looking into His face, bringing my gifts to His outstretched hands.
I am no longer a thirty-something but am clearly in the last third of my life. Because of this, I can see the beginnings of younger people treating me as ‘clueless.’ Total strangers assume I’m not as fast, as aware, as technologically saavy, etc. And the truth is, I’m no match technologically for someone in their twenties, as hard as I work at staying current. I don’t like how this bias feels but know that this is just the way it is. What is humbling and unfortunate though is when I bring this same disrespect to people I love, those whom I believe might not know as much as me, or be as healthy as me, or are as young as me.
The burning question I ask myself is this: How would Jesus treat the elderly family member I’m caring for? Would He take shortcuts because He wouldn’t face repercussions? I doubt it. Integrity and respect must be the hallmarks of my mindset toward others. Whatever I do is for the glory or dishonor of Christ.
Help me see Your face in the faces of the feeble, beginning at home. Amen
Journal Question: Whose face comes to mind as you read today’s devotional? Answer two questions as you journal. 1.) How do you see this person? 2.) How does Jesus see this person?