Congregate vs. Segregate
I know there is a Supreme Being who rules the affairs of men and whose goodness and mercy have always followed the American people, and I know He will not turn from us now if we humbly and reverently seek His powerful aid. (Grover Cleveland)
But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these kinds of things. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their sinful self. They have given up their old selfish feelings and the evil things they wanted to do. We get our new life from the Spirit, so we should follow the Spirit. We must not feel proud and boast about ourselves. We must not cause trouble for each other or be jealous of each other. (Galatians 5:22-26)
Who rules your heart at this moment in time? If you quickly respond, "Why, God, of course!", then you are among the many who believe they are motivated and governed by the one who made all things. Yet, I have to ask you again to consider for just a moment who it is who really is ruling your heart at this very moment. Chances are you might just say it is this god we refer to as 'fear', or perhaps that other god of 'greed'. A few days back I wrote of a man who traveled hundreds of miles buying up every hand sanitizer he could find on the shelves, all with the intent of selling them on what has become today's 'black market' - online! To his extreme disappointment, he was not able to 'offload' what his greed loaded upon him. He is now forced to donate them, as he is under investigation for price gouging! He listened to the god of greed, hoping to make the quick buck during a very difficult time in our country. If we are honest here, his 'rule' by which he was living at that moment was probably not 'goodness' or 'mercy'.
The affairs of men need to be 'ruled' by something other than our own fear or greed. Whenever we allow either of these to taken on the 'rule' of our lives, we are bound to find ourselves in some pretty unsavory spots in life. Fear has a way of making us do things we otherwise would not have considered 'reasonable' - like buying up an entire truckload of toilet paper. Greed eventually will find us surrounded with 'stuff', but shutting out the very thing we need the most - each other. We cannot live well if fear or greed are our motivating force. We must remember we serve a great big GOD and stop listening to those little gods that keep telling us to live outside of trust, hope and peace. Those who find themselves stockpiling the toilet paper and hand sanitizer, stealing face masks from hospital receptacles, and clearing off grocery store shelves of all that food they wouldn't normally eat (like boiled peanuts), will find themselves 'well-stocked', but very unfulfilled.
My BFF and I made a pact of sorts - to look out for each other. If I am somewhere and notice they have something she NEEDS, I send a quick text or just pick it up for her and her dad. She does the same for mom and I. This is how it should be - looking out for EACH OTHER, not just for ourselves. I am doing the same for my kids and their families during this time - not because they cannot look out for themselves, but because we ALL need each other. Christ didn't ask us to 'segregate' - he asked us to 'congregate'. Do you know the difference? When we segregate, we isolate. Even if we are asked to 'quarantine' for a period of time, that 'social distancing' we are supposed to be doing is really for the purpose of helping to minimize the spread of disease, not to ensure the survival of the fittest! To congregate means we will come together in rather large groups - something we are asked not to do right now due to the spread of disease. Yet, it doesn't mean we stop looking out for those we would normally gather together with - congregating may have stopped, but caring for each other has not! Just sayin!