Do not Be a Moocher or Freeloader with God

We all know moochers and freeloaders.  They obliviously take and expect us to keep giving without even thinking of paying their way or even contributing their share. It does not occur to them that they should perhaps pay for the food and comforts provided them precisely to the person providing that food and comfort.  Maybe you have helped someone who is always asking for help without appreciating or helping in return. I think that this condition comes from a combination of being cheap, self-absorbed, ungrateful, and manipulative. Some moochers pretend to pay their way via their own self-chosen methods, such as buying or cooking something . However, when push comes to shove, they do not want to contribute unless it is one their terms, in their methods, to persons of their choosing.

While such people can truly be a nightmare to live with, they provide us with a double lesson which is key for our salvation.  First, despite how difficult, we are called to love and provide for such people within the realms of reasonable charity.  This does not mean that we encourage vagrancy, laziness, or a lack of appreciation. Rather, it means that we set limits yet remain charitable and sacrifice our displeasures to a loving Christ Who has always taught us to not judge, to endure, to love, especially when it is most difficult to do so.

The other lesson which free loaders teach us is that, just as we detest such behavior in others, we too much not be that way with God. How many times do we pray, ask, demand, and push God to give us what we want, to favor us relentlessly, without regard to how well, how often, or how much we offer to give God something in return?

Let us offer our hand to others, even when they selfishly demand it. Let us offer our hand, not only to receive God’s great blessings but, just as importantly, to offer His great bounty of love, peace, and salvation to others through our efforts and love.  May we increasingly reach out, not to ask as much as to give, and thus follow Christ ever more.

Copyright, 2013   Gabriel Garnica


If You Want to Follow Christ, Travel Light

Whether we admit it or not, we all worship enough gods to fill our local arena. Sure, we talk a good game regarding loyalty to the One, True, God but, when nobody is watching us, we raid the cookie jar of gods to satisfy our whim of the day.  Whether we kneel before the gods of power, money, possessions, popularity, self, revenge, or any of the other slew of deities of doom this world entices us with, we certainly have our pick on a daily basis. Rather than pretend that this danger does not exist, or deny its power to persuade us from time to time, we should simply admit its presence in our lives and ask God for help.

You see, when it comes to following Christ, we must all walk through a gauntlet of temptations on a daily basis, a veritable buffet of easy human enticements propped up on flimsy, fanciful lies that this earth ever has the real answer to anything. Eve faced one apple, and Adam followed the easy way to please, but we confront an apple orchard 24/7 just begging us to fill our knapsack with all forms of luggage. I love the phrase “you have more issues than a newstand” because, in reality, we are all newstands,  displaying loads of issues of all kinds. If we are not carrying around resentments or regrets from years ago, we are lugging around insecurities, fears, or stereotypes about others, ourselves, or the situations we face.

Christ has told us that we cannot follow Him if we are carrying around all of this garbage. Following Him demands that we travel light because, no pun intended, He is the Light.

While it would be wonderful if we could just snap our fingers and eliminate this luggage, or somehow put up a firewall to prevent these items from invading our lives, the truth is that God would not allow that to happen for three reasons. First, it would be the easy way out, avoiding our need to confront and defeat our demons.  Second, we would own the idea that we had somehow  overcome these demons on our own. Last, it would eliminate our need to trust in Christ.  In actuality, God allows these challenges to tempt and weigh us down to test our resolve, our faith, and our trust in Him.

No, we cannot magically snap our way out of this daily battle with this luggage. No, we cannot avoid carrying these suitcases from time to time. However, there is one way we can lighten our load and follow Christ.  We simply have to hand these stuff to Christ and trust that He will deal with it constructively and effectively for our ultimate salvation.  You see, we are not on this earth to prove that we do not need God. Rather, we are on this earth to prove that we can serve and bring God to others through our own meager efforts. This is not about proving to God that we can carry tons of useless earthly garbage. Rather, it is everything about showing God how much we love and trust Him, how much we want to follow Christ, and how much we want to return home to Heaven where we belong.

So, the next time you find yourself holding a grudge, struggling to forgive, clinging to anger or fear, or immersed in self-doubt and hopelessness, drop off this luggage at Christ’s courtesy counter of faith because you can only  board your flight to salvation with a light, carry-on bag filled with your love, service, charity, compassion, mercy, and selfless dedication to others inside.

Copyright, 2013  Gabriel Garnica.   All Rights Reserved.