December 29, 2015


A man of meager means is a dishwasher in a neighboring town. When he found an envelope of cash he turned it over to his boss, who returned it to its rightful owner. The story of his honesty has spread not only across the community, but around the nation and to other countries. People are rewarding the man’s honesty with financial gifts and now, rather than couch surfing, he may be able to buy a home of his own. Beyond his honesty the local paper reported that the man qualifies for food stamps and other assistance, but refuses to accept government help insisting, “…he will work for his money.” Seldom do we hear of someone forfeiting something they are entitled to. Paul wrote that our attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross” (Phil 2:6-8 NIV)!

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----I like to think that scripture at Phil 2:6-8 shows what is the mind of Christ Paul refers to at I Cor 2:16. Its nature isn’t just in making the self nothing and becoming a servant. It is also importantly about obedience, humbling one’s self to the way things properly are. Jesus rubbed the authorities the wrong way because He humbled Himself in obedience to the way things should be. The authorities, being fallible humans, saw “the way things should be” in their traditions. But these, at best, were distorted shadows of the actual reality to which Jesus humbled Himself.
-----I hadn’t heard the rest of the story about this dishwasher. Frankly, I got kind of tired of hearing on the radio about him every hour on the hour. But reading what you’ve learned, my admiration for him has been greatly elevated, because he has surely humbled himself to the way things should be.
-----It isn’t that his refusal of food stamps and government assistance comes from beyond honesty. In fact, food stamps and government assistance fall short of honesty. After all, Robin Hood was a robber. That’s what he did. He robbed. It doesn’t matter whether or not he was a nice fellow. It doesn’t matter whether or not he was the government, or the leader of a band powerful enough to protect its own territory as a quasi-government, or just the leader of a band of thieves. Robin Hood was a thief. We like him because our version of him stole from the rich and gave to the poor.
-----It doesn’t matter that our government doesn’t hide out in the greenwoods running with a band of highwaymen. It doesn’t matter that it codifies the ways and means of stealing from the rich; it doesn’t matter that it calls its stealing “taxation”. Revenue agents carry pistols. Thieves carry pistols. Revenue agents rely on the power of numbers (which government is -power by vote.) Crime organizations rely on the power of numbers. These things are just trappings.
-----The heart of the issue is that one man works hard employing his skills to make something useful enough to others that they will give him a price in excess of what it cost him to make so he can buy bread to feed his family from some other guy who made it at a cost less than what he got for it. What matters is that the government demands these men hand over their excess at the threat of great personal damage if they do not so that their excess can be given to those who want to make neither bread nor anything else but just consumption. Our dishwasher’s honesty went beyond nothing to properly recognize food stamps and other government assistance as being the booty of theft that it is. Rather, his honesty simply reached the truth. It doesn’t matter that Robin Hood gave booty to the poor. He was a thief. It doesn’t matter that the government gives booty to the poor. It is a thief. And its goods are stolen goods regardless of any code thieves hold in heart or write into law.
-----The nature of the mind of Christ adds humility on top of servitude. What would servitude be without humility? One must know what is service to serve. And one must know whom service serves, and whether anyone else will be adversely effected by one’s efforts to serve. Christ did not limit service to only the poor from what the rich had. He said to love all men. Rich men are men. We can not love the rich while holding up the government as a weapon for taking their money for our own consumption no matter how poor we are. Yet this is precisely where nearly half America’s voting population now stand politically. Theft is theft. And the mind of Christ will recognize theft wherever it is embedded.

Love you all,
Steve Corey