I love this story! Thank you Ron for sharing it with me.
This story illustrates one of the biggest problems with our churches and our families. Government is totally infected with this problem and that's why we are in the shape we are in. It's the illusion of love and unselfishness that hides true sin. Entitlement programs are not "unselfish". Entitlement programs are actually the largest form of selfishness there is. At the root of entitlement programs is the desire to control the other person - to take away their freedom. It's all about "root motives". Unfortunately, our faith is filled with people who talk a good game. They know exactly what to say to make you think they are "Christian". In reality however...their motives are more about themselves than they are about others.
Hope you enjoy this, bow your head and make sure that you are willing to follow God's purpose for your life.
A Holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, 'Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.'
He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in.
In the middle of the room was a large round table..
In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water.
The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly.
They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful.
But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.
The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.
The Lord said, 'You have seen Hell. They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one.
There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water.
The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.
The holy man said, 'I don't understand.
'It is simple,' said the Lord. 'It requires but one skill...
You see, they have learned to feed each other.
The greedy think only of themselves.'
When Jesus died on the cross, he was thinking of you.
This also goes along with our pastor's study. Too many pastors allow selfish hearts to remain in places of leadership or on the staff. The very core of their heart is wrong and these selfish members manage to spread poison into everything they touch or do. The real mission of the church is to be a place where we can all learn to be unselfish and just like Christ. It's not about you....did you hear me? It's not about you. It's not about what you want to do, or get or be. Perhaps the people in this little story "thought" they were good people. They thought they could care for others and be like Christ. Yet....when it came right down to it, Hell was able to show them their inner selves. They were all about protection and taking care of self - not true unselfishness and love for others. I know people that bounce from church to church looking for someone who will let them "serve" publicly. What? Service is a state of mind. It shouldn't matter if you are seen or known when you serve. It shouldn't matter "what" you do. Service is about fitting in and moving into the background not just thinking about yourself.
As pastors, teachers, parents, and leaders within the community we need to look for motives and causes and be sure we have spiritually healthy people in place. That's the only way to lead others to a better life.
God loves you,