Lessons from a homeless person
I Peter 5:5 “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
We have a number of young men that sit out in the street next to our office, making a living by safeguarding parked vehicles and the owners give them small amounts of money or loose change as a token of appreciation. Over time, one of them has become someone I speak to on a regular basis, I have always found his wit and dry sense of humour hilarious. During our conversations he has shown such great promise through the application of his mind and what he shares with me.
The other day a colleague of mine came into my office a little shocked at an encounter she had just had with this young man. I think in disembarking from the car, she had not acknowledged or greeted the young man who was standing next to her car. So the young man boldly said to her “Do you know that we don’t go to school just to gain academic knowledge, but to also acquire basic social skills and etiquette, and it’s important to be courteous to everyone at all times?”
My colleague was so taken aback at this burst of wisdom that it left her thinking and she said to me “I have just learnt a lesson, never look down on, or underestimate anybody based on their appearance or their circumstances.” Who would have thought that this young man is so intelligent and that the simple act of greeting them would be so significant that they would point it out?
We all have this weakness where we prefer to acknowledge successful people or people of stature, and we choose to ignore the people that we think are beneath us or do not hold any position of value in society or we think they cannot be of benefit to us in any way.
Humility is not only the act of being modest but more importantly a state of mind that says “you matter as much as I do and I will serve you like everybody else.” Unfortunately, our inflated egos make it difficult for us to be servant leaders, to be people who seek to do for others.
We may not fully understand what leads brilliant young men to the streets, to a life without prospect and how they got to that stage but one thing is certain, God can use whoever He desires to minister. We have accustomed our minds to only learn from a certain class of person, but everyone who was created by God can be used in a mighty way for His glory.
As I thought of the shock and amazement on my colleague’s face, I thought of all the wasted opportunities that God has presented to us that we have missed because we have failed to listen to the voices that have been sent to us because they do not meet certain standards.
Make a deliberate effort to look at people through the eyes of the Lord, because He created all of us in His image and though that image may not be up to the standard you perceive to be right with you, everyone He has given life to, He has given a purpose.
Allow the Lord to humble your heart to be more accepting of others, and you will be surprised at just who He may use to help you along life’s way.
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