What’s Following You?
By Meli’sa-Kaye Robotham
I guess you probably think that the title has a typo. Surely the question should be, “Who’s following you?” Who’s following you on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter? Surely that’s right the question! Isn't it? No. My question actually is, “What’s following you?”
Many of us operate daily in a merit-based society. We are, therefore, required to work industriously for anything we hope to acquire. In order for us to be highly successful at work or school, it is necessary for us to exceed the established standards in these environments. We are expected to triumph over insurmountable odds and become self-made men and women. Often we need to prove ourselves more deserving than others.
Perhaps we make exceptions where our loved ones are concerned. We may even expect to receive gratitude from those who ‘owe us’. Maybe we have no qualms about accepting assistance from those we think we have repeatedly helped. After all, if we have invested in these individuals don’t we deserve to have them repay us? Or, perhaps we think that they are just contributing to our mutual relationship.
Is it as easy for us to accept the undeserved kindness of strangers or new acquaintances? A few of us find it difficult, to even accept this from loved ones. Perhaps it is still more challenging for us to receive the help, the kindness, or the unmerited favour of others because in the past we were hurt by people we trusted. We might consider it unbelievable when others extend goodness to us, without possessing an ulterior motive; especially if we endured situations in which people's kindness came at a very high cost. Understandably, we may now believe that it is better to be fully independent.
But does this hold true for us as Christians?
I must admit that I also struggle with this. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a Global Mission Fellow in Germany. However, I was often instantly met with kindness, that I knew I could never repay and I often wondered, “Why”? One morning, while I was questioning this, I was given a refrigerator magnet which immediately provided the answer. Translated it stated,
'Goodness and Mercy will follow me for a Lifetime.
The Lord is my Shepherd.’
When I read this I was reminded that I am never outside of God’s protective care, nor am I ever away from God’s love. Furthermore, I recalled that it is not unusual to experience God’s goodness through others.
I still believe that we should use discretion as it is unwise to accept everything we have been offered. There are also many things that we will have to work very hard to attain. However, do we ever receive the unmerited kindness of others and regard it as just that - kindness?
- Do we allow God’s goodness and mercy to follow us, or do we put hindrances in the way?
- Are we channels of God’s goodness and mercy?