Are you ready to Live PURPOSEFULLY
No to “Christian” Platitudes, Yes to Jesus
by: Christian Dronen (Final Family Homes)
God helps those who help themselves.
I heard it around, you probably have, too; quoted especially by Christians, it seems. I came to believe it to be from the Bible-quoting it to myself and others around me. Even after I learned that it isn’t from scripture, it stayed with me, misinforming the way I viewed and engaged the world. “A little yeast works through the whole batch.” When I considered the man on the street, the poor, hungry, and in prison – I thought they should get their act together. They got themselves there, they should get themselves out.
And while this may sometimes be true, it is not a Christ-like response. Jesus approached the poor, fed the hungry, and set us all free from the prison of sin. He said, “If only you had known the meaning of ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent” (Matthew 12:7).
Mercy means withholding judgment. One who shows mercy does not evaluate whether someone deserves kindness, forgiveness, or pity. In fact, if the recipient is deserving, it cannot be called mercy.
Mercy frustrates our fleshly desires to blame others for their failures. But God wants us to give mercy, not to ensure others have paid for their sins. Mercy requires us to step down from the judgment seat. “For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13).
As I’ve studied Christ and the way he engaged the poor and publicly condemned, my heart has grown in humility and mercy. Who am I to judge them, to assume that their situation is just?
In fact, I’ve only recently learned that half of our homeless, the majority of our imprisoned, and trafficked right here in the United States come from our foster care system. My heart is wrenched with compassion. These are children who have been failed – in their home life, by a broken foster care system, and by society at large. They have faced trauma, rejection, and abandonment. They do not need condemnation from a stranger, but the mercy, light, and love of Christ that comes through his hands and feet – his people.
God has laid upon my heart to offer up a place of refuge for the children who leave foster care never having found a home or family. We call it Finally Family Homes. It’s not just about caring for the needs of these children, hundreds of which will become homeless as soon as they are “too old” for the system and “too old” for a family. Our mission is to care for their hearts too – connecting them to the local community and to a family like atmosphere, and to show them Jesus by coming alongside and doing life with them.
There are hurting, poor, and abandoned in every community. There are plenty of souls who walk by judging without mercy, without concern for the current suffering. Let us who know the one who suffered in our place, who showed unparalleled mercy & compassion fill our hearts with the same loving-kindness for those we might be inclined to judge.
God shows mercy to those who show mercy to others.
Connect With Christina & Final Family Homes
Christina Dronen is a Christian wife, mom, and author who is passionate about raising kids in Christ. Through Final Family Homes Christina works to “create the connection, direction, and support aging-out foster youth need for a successful transition into adulthood.”