“Courage is what it takes to speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Winston Churchill
There is a great lesson in the following story.
“Mendel, a barber, was hard-pressed for money. His faith was finally stretched to its limit when he gave in and cut hair well into the Sabbath, as was his conviction not to work. He felt bad, but he didn’t know what else to do.
“His friend, Moshe, who worked across the street, who held the same conviction, saw Mendel cutting hair as he was closing up his tailor shop. He went and reported it to their rabbi, who then asked to talk with Mendel after the service.
“Mendel, I am fining you one case of candles for the synagogue for working on the Sabbath,” the rabbi said. He then turned to Moshe and said, “I’m fining you two cases of candles. And I’m fining myself, five cases.”
“But…why?” Moshe asked. “If you really cared about what Mendel was doing, you would have asked him why he was working and helped him in any way you could. And for myself, how did I not know he was in such dire straits?” At this, the rabbi broke down crying.”
It takes guts to tell the truth and even more guts to help someone live it. Scripture tells us that as we walk in community, we are not to be hit and run artists.
Instead, we are to tell each other the truth and then help each other live it out. This is what it means to be church – a group of people walking toward Jesus together.
It’s easy to post your opinions on social media. It is much harder to share them in person to the person who really needs to hear it and knows that you love them enough to carry their burden with them as you both progress in your love for and faith in Jesus.
This takes courage. It’s time for courageous people to know when to stand up and when to sit down.