Whatever You Did
The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40 This verse, to me is the ultimate in directions. In other places in Scripture we are told to love our neighbors and love our enemies. Of course we are told, which seems like it shouldn’t be necessary but it is, to love God. Love your neighbor, your enemy and God. Okay, got it. Do we?
That to me, is where this verse and the ones that precede it, come into play. Prior to this verse Jesus has laid out what is important. Did you feed me? Visit me in prison? Give me a drink of water? Take care of me when I was sick? Clothe me? Befriend me when I was a stranger and alone? Ah! Read that and now it’s easier to understand what it means to love. In this passage love is not an emotion it’s action. To quote the overused phrase, “Love is a verb.” The phrase is overused but sadly the sentiment it contains is not.
Looking at my life from the perspective of Matthew 25:34-40, I can easily see where I’ve had success and where I have failed. However lately God has directed me back to that last verse several times. “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
In spending time with God the last couple of weeks this verse has come up, as I walk through my days this verse comes up. “Whatever you did” rings in my ears and in my soul. Finally light dawned.
Yes, I’m proactive about doing nice things. I love, love, love to give. Well, yay me, right? No, not at all! That joy is a gift from God. I didn’t earn it or create it myself. I’m happy to give wherever and whenever I can. So what’s the message?
“Whatever you did.” Oh! So the snarky remark? The snub in the hallway? The refusal to even consider another person’s perspective? The phone call/meal/ card that I should have made or sent? The put down I thought was so hilarious? The judgment I passed on that person about whom I know precious little? Uh-oh!
I have no problem opening my home and my life to people. Beyond not having a problem with it I love the opportunity to pray with others. It makes my day when someone asks me to pray with them. That other stuff? Those negative responses? Oh yes, I’m doing them to or for God’s people as well. The verses are about giving and serving others but our Lord showed me that the words “whatever you did” cover a lot more.
Now, in my dwindling years, now maybe I am truly getting a clue of how to love my neighbor, my enemy and my God. Whatever is a word that has been overworked and abused, as you well know if you’ve ever even met a teenager.
Look at it again, in light of these verses and their deep meaning. “Whatever you did to the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did to me.” Then ask yourself, would I treat God this way?