Live Like a True Child of God
Ever lose your wallet? It’s not a pleasant experience, is it? Inside your wallet are your ID, driver’s license, proof of insurance, and credit cards. Besides feeling “naked” without all these items, there’s the possibility of identity theft and being stuck with credit card bills.
But what if your lost wallet contained a huge amount of cash – over $5,000? This actually happened last week to a Canadian woman, River Johnson of British Columbia. She’s a small business owner and had $7,000 in Canadian currency, or U.S. $5,211, in her wallet. While she was taking her elderly parents shopping at a local Walmart, she became distracted and misplaced her wallet.
Ms. Johnson didn’t even notice the wallet was missing until she’d dropped her parents off and arrived home. By then Walmart was closed.
Unbeknownst to River Johnson, one of the Walmart employees, Ralph Buisine, had found her wallet. Now, Buisine himself had fallen on hard times. He had recently lost his business, 9Round gym, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On top of this, a finance company was about to foreclose on his house. He could’ve really used that extra money.
Yet, when he found the billfold full of cash, something in his heart made him think first of the poor soul who had lost it. Something inside him made him wonder how its rightful owner must be feeling. That something is called empathy. It’s the rare ability to put yourself in another person’s place. Yes, Ralph needed the money. But he thought of how desperate its owner must be feeling. So he handed over the wallet stuffed with cash to the store manager, who placed it in the safe.
And that night when a frantic woman called to ask if anyone had found her wallet, the manager was able to reassure her. “Your wallet and all its contents are safe and sound.” When she retrieved the wallet the next day, Ralph Buisine wouldn’t even accept a reward for his good deed. He simply did what he hoped someone might do for him if the tables were turned (Matthew 7:12).
If you’re thoroughly sickened by all the looting and wanton vandalism in our cities, please remember, there are still many thoughtful and caring people in the world. There are people all around us who think about the welfare of others and don’t only look out for their own interests. In fact, there are many people who place the needs of others before their own. That’s how marriages endure, families survive, teams achieve victory, and armies win wars. It’s the only way societies can function – when the majority of people do what’s best for the interests of everyone.
True, our society has its parasites, people who literally live off the sacrifice and compassion of others – and they give nothing but evil in return. Although the compassionate people of this world may feel themselves victimized and oppressed by them, remember this. We love, give, and forgive for the sake of our heavenly Father. We seek to live like His true children, who Himself is kind and forgiving to wicked and evil people (Luke 6:35). As a tree is known by its fruit (Matthew 7:16-20), the true children of God are known by their deeds. God will repay everyone for what he or she has done in this life, whether it is good or bad. “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels. And He will recompense everyone according to their deeds” (Matthew 16:27).
PRAYER: Dear Father in heaven, please help me to live as Your true child. Help me to love even when that love is neither requited nor appreciated. Help me to forgive, as You have forgiven me. Help me to do good, even when it is repaid with evil. In all things, make me more and more like Jesus Christ. Amen.