I wrote the following article in June 2009. I wonder how much I've really changed since then. Not sure I want to know the answer.
If I’m going to be honest with you, I would have to admit that people don’t always matter to me.
People don’t matter!
Of course, those closest to me matter. My wife and sons. My family. My friends. My staff. The people who give me what I want or need.
But everyone else… probably not so much.
And if I’m going to be REALLY honest, I would probably have to admit that even some of those that I say matter… at times… don’t.
I think it works something like this…
People only start to matter when they break through the wall of selfishness and self centredness that I’ve meticulously erected over many years… or when I need something from them.
Otherwise, they don’t matter.
And the irony is that, to some people… I don’t really matter either.
Despite running a ministry that has been described as the largest church in Townsville… that communicates hope to more people everyday than all of the churches in Townsville combined.
To some, I don’t matter enough to even be invited out for a cup of coffee… unless, of course, they need something from me.
And it stinks…
(Forgive me if my rejection is beginning to show…)
And so does my hypocrisy!
I have a friend who runs a church of just 6 people. There’s no “story”… no reason why his church is so small. It’s just the way it is… a small community of believers doing life together, being lead by a faithful, Godly man.
Yet, I know that, to some people, with bigger churches and shinier ministries, he doesn’t matter. Not really. He’s not influential enough (apparently). His church is too small (apparently). What does he possibly have to offer?
And yet… my friend, with only 6 people in his church, does matter.
I have another friend – a pastor – who recently had the honour of spending a morning with a group of people considered by many to be the lowest in our society. He was invited to pray for these dirty, stinking people – most of them alcoholics – right where they live, in filthy squalid conditions.
Because, each one of those people matter as well.
That’s just the way it is with Jesus.
So, if I call myself a follower of Christ, how dare I see people – treat people – any differently!?!
After all, everyone of us has fallen short of God’s ideal. Everyone.
The point is that the very people I consider to be the least… the people that seemingly don’t matter… are the very people that I should probably be honouring more highly than anyone else.
Perhaps, it’s not so much a case of having people break through my wall of selfishness and self centredness. Perhaps, it’s more a case of submissively allowing Jesus to tear that wall down… brick by filthy brick.
Because, it’s almost like I can hear Jesus say, “whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me”.