Its not easy and often we are not rewarded. We are like Paul. Once we have heard God in our hearts, we must spread God's Good News. This is an impulse of grace. Paul's admonition not to expect anything in return is so realistic. We all need support in ministry whether its caring for our family, others in the workplace, or speaking out about issues of injustice. Instead of expecting a grand applause or a plaque, we can look for small words of thanks and encouragement.
We can also strive to be empowering and encouraging. In fact, we need to be "an encouraging word" for others. So often a good word or an act of kindness can turn around a person's day.
The other side of the coin of encouragement is judgement. Luke reminds us that we can't judge another's behavior satisfactorily.
You know how difficult it is not to judge others whether it is a family member, a religious or civic leader or a person on the street. I often find myself judging someone. Is it coming from a pet peeve, a need to control or a critical voice?
This is where Jesus' admonition to know ourselves is appropriate. We are all limited, have weaknesses and ignorance. So is everyone else.
Evil does happen. We must speak out against evil, whether it be a 9/11 event or violence in any form. Righteousness, or right relationships, are built on love and trust, not on violence and judgement.
Be a disciple who speaks love and truth. Empower others to act in love. God takes care of the rest!
By Joan Lanahan