Monday, June 01, 2015

Your True Character

By Melanie Rigney

(After Anna’s employer gave her a young goat for as a bonus, her husband, Tobit,) would not believe her, and told her to give it back to its owners. I became very angry with her over this. So she retorted, “Where are your charitable deeds now? Where are your virtuous acts? See! Your true character is finally showing itself!” (Tobit 2:14)

The heart of the just one is firm, trusting in the Lord. (Psalm 112:7c)

So Jesus said to them, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” They were utterly amazed at him. (Mark: 12:17)

Lord, open my eyes, that I might appreciate and emulate the homage and service others pay You.

Who among us hasn’t been there? Tobit, the devout and once-wealthy Israelite, has been literally blind for four years. Everyone, including Tobit himself, felt bad for the man. But it turned out he was also blind in a more significant way. He found it impossible to believe that his wife’s work could have been of such a caliber or her employers so kind that Anna would have been rewarded with a goat beyond her regular wages. Surely, he believed, the animal had been stolen.

In the same way, we can be skeptical or envious of the good that comes to those we know, family, friends, acquaintances. Well, yes, she’s a good mother, but her piety is nowhere near ours. Sure, he’s a good neighbor, but his devotion can’t hold a candle to ours. Why in the world would the Lord bless them more than us? We assume we know everything about the lives, hearts, and souls of others… and are more than ready to hold up our deeds and acts against theirs.

The thing we forget is that when it comes to God, there’s plenty to go around. The amount of His goodness is unfathomable and endless. The bonuses are plentiful, in this world and the next. Better, then, to rejoice at the love and good fortune lavished on others. May it remind us of the generosities we receive ourselves… and take for granted.

Delight in the Lord’s bonuses conferred on someone you find difficult to love.

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