“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” ~ Samuel Johnson
Yesterday, I was trying to decide what to eat for lunch. As I thought about it, I knew what was going to happen. If it takes too long for me to think of something, take out becomes the option. As it stood, I called the local Chinese restaurant for take out. With my meal, as with every meal at any Chinese restaurant, I received a fortune cookie: “You are never selfish with your advice or your help.”
I would like to think that fortune was true. After all, none of us likes to think that we might be failing in any way. I do try to give advice and help to people as needed. I hope that I will be remembered for that. However, the key word in there that I saw was the word “never”.
“You are never selfish.” The Good Lord knows that is not true. I try to be as selfless as possible; but, I would have to confess that my selflessness turns into selfishness at times, especially times when I am tired: tired of the work, tired of the same stories, tired of doing while others refuse to do. It is at times like that I find myself not being as selfless toward others as I should be.
When I thought about that, the words from Jesus in the Gospels came to me: “The measure you measure with will be measured back to you.” I try not to do the things that I do so that I get anything in return because that would be its own reward. I try to do the right thing because that is what Jesus wants of me. It is easier to do for the people I care about and harder for the people I know nothing about. That is human nature. However, Jesus asks us to rise above our human nature and reach out to all.
There will be an accounting that each soul makes to God on the day of that soul’s particular judgment. I would hope that all of us measure up in God’s eyes. To do so, we have to be as selfless as possible, looking out for others and helping others whenever and wherever needed. It is that measure that will be used to view our lives and to determine our eternal future.
All I could think about yesterday was, “God, give me the grace to measure up to your expectation.” Wow. All of that from a take-out lunch.
FAITH ACTION: Do good today for every person you meet without expecting anything in return.