Stepping up#3. “Not my Problem!”

Stepping up#3. “Not my Problem!”

Having misplaced my debit card, I decided to retrace my steps. My first stop was the gas station. The guy there reached into a drawer, produced a fist full of credit cards, and asked me inane questions as he flicked through the pile. However, his fascination with the abandoned cards seemed to trump any desire to find an owner for any of them. I couldn’t spot mine, and he couldn’t care—It was not his problem. My second stop was Kmart. As I approached the entrance, two young people were running straight at me with their carts. They sped around me, losing cargo on the sharp turn towards the mall exit, and disappeared from view. The information lady was kind enough to take my number, but her mind was too busy adjusting to the robbery to take any real interest in my problem. Which was more hopeful than what the nice lady at my final stop told me. She said, “Sorry, our bank shreds lost cards.”

For the believer, taking up the ‘problems’ of another is a labour of love. It is usually a fulfilling experience; rewarded with words and acts of appreciation. Issues arise when help is expected, or barely appreciated. This response takes some getting used to. It is then that Jesus’ words: “Give expecting nothing in return,” seem like cold comfort. If you do not check yourself, you will solidify your prejudices and treat everyone as a potential leech on your time and money. Then, “Not my problem!” becomes your new mantra.

A policeman noticed a stray cat attempting to cross a busy street. Fearing for the cat’s life, he stopped all the cars to clear a path. Immediately, the cat tore through the break in the traffic and disappeared into an ally. Naturally, it knew nothing of the kindness in the heart of the policeman.

How many times has God cleared the way for you and me? His acts of kindness going unnoticed and unappreciated. But still, He makes a way.

It is when ‘Stepping-up’ to solve the problems of others – expecting nothing in return – that you see God at work in you. When pouring forth His limitless providential care upon your troubled life, you will never hear Him say, “Not my problem!”

John Staiger


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