He Made His Bed Let Him Lie In It. He Chose This Way Of Life So. . .

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

I had a short conversation today with an Italian woman on social media. It was under a video posted of addicts to drugs acting crazy. The editor decided to make fun of the situation by putting dance music to their actions. I commented that I didn’t like the video because these people are children of God.

The Italian woman retorted with something I hear a lot from people all over the world. “They chose to get like that so. . .” It’s interesting to note that no matter where we come from in the world human beings deep down are all the same. Yes, there’s that thin layer of difference in cultural attitudes and what one culture sees as a friendly gesture another does not. But when it comes to specific arguments or how we reason when faced with a dilemma we are all the same.

I hear that all the time. “They chose that life for themselves so to hell with them. We’ve every right to make fun of them and ridicule these people no longer considered part of normal functioning society.” We seem to think that those who make bad choices in life deserve to be banished from the tribe, mocked and made fun of no matter how heinous the crime.

The Christian response should always be one of forgiveness and rehabilitation. To see the person for who they really are takes the grace of God. They were once the son and daughter of someone who loved them. They enjoyed their childhood years and were once innocent before somewhere along the path they made bad choices and strayed from a virtuous way of living.

Not all people make bad choices of their own free will either. There are those who do so under severe peer pressure or due to a mental illness which grievously cripples their capacity to make good decisions. I’m thinking of those who are Bi-polar.

When in a heightened and excited state of mind, people with Bi-Polar make very rash decisions they wouldn’t otherwise make under normal circumstances. I know of one woman who spent all her savings on clothes. When she came to it she was so depressed over her actions.

I myself took a wrong path in life and ended up in hospital over drugs and was knocking on deaths door. I was so close to death the doctor was surprised by my recovery. This took place when I was 16/17 years old. I made a bad choice that was thrown out of school. My old school gave me a second chance but I squandered it for I was from a very deprived background too young to grasp the life decision of depriving myself of a high school diploma.

In the end I got a job working at the local supermarket, got involved in music and more drugs and never could keep down a job or develop a career for myself. I made bad choices and although there were many influences surrounding me that breathed life into them, ultimately I am responsible for my behaviour.

As human beings and most especially baptized Christians our job is not to allow people to make those bad choices if we can help it. We are called to help others as long as they’re open and willing to receive that help. When Elvis bodyguards where confronted as to why they didn’t intervene when he took drugs, they are reported to have said, “How do you save a man from himself?”

It’s true. What can you do for the man who is drowning and keeps splashing all efforts to throw him an inflatable device away from him? Very little. That doesn’t mean we give up on him. We are called to imitate Jesus and Jesus never turns his back on us. He never gives up calling us to Himself. Instead of pointing the finger at someone and telling them, “you made your bed, now lie in it”, help them choose a different bed and show them how to make it.

Some people are self sufficient and they tend to view everyone like themselves. It’s easy to be a good guitar player when you’re born with the talent. It’s easy to point the finger and laugh at those who cannot succeed at something you naturally find so easy to do.

It’s the same with life. When things are going well for a man, it’s easy to point the finger of scorn at those less fortunate than himself. This was the kind of behaviour that landed the rich man in Hell and Lazarus the beggar in Heaven. The rich man passed him every day and snubbed him. Like everyone else in history he was thinking, “He made his little bed, let him lie in it.” “He chose that life for himself so what is that to me? How is he my responsibility? I’ve got a family and enough cares of my own to concern myself with.”

The truth is that those who have a talent for making money and good business, have a responsibility to use their good position to lift the less fortunate from the ground. The rich exist for the sake of the poor and the poor for the sake of the rich. Even those who are materially poor but talented in counselling others out of bad behaviour have a responsibility to help both the rich and the poor. How? because those who are but materially lacking in the riches of virtue need saving from the bad path they’re on.

In truth, riches alone, although a great aid to those who need the charity, do not help the poor as much as those who are rich in mercy. That’s the person who truly helps. The one with the ability to take a person out of their material poverty, gets them a job and gives them some dignity does well. But the one who, in addition to this puts them on a straight path to the Lord and saves their soul does even better.

Always remember that when you point the finger at someone there are three fingers pointing back at you. These fingers accuse you of being great at the diagnosis but of offering no cure. Don’t be the finger pointer. If you want to point the finger use it to point them in the direction of righteousness and a life of dignity.

Image by truthseeker08 from Pixabay

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