I love reading about history. I can’t help myself, it is so fascinating to me. My sister recently got me two autobiographies for Christmas. I enjoy both characters that they are about so I am excited to learn more about them. I am struggling with the style of the autobiographical writer. Especially the first one. It’s by Teddy Roosevelt. Such an interesting figure, but he didn’t use an editor to help him write. So he’s off on tangents all the time. He’s all over the board.
But the dude has some great insights. I work for a church so I am constantly challenged to help others. I say no often. Sometimes I feel bad for saying no. Sometimes I don’t. Then I read this quote from Teddy’s autobiography:
“But if either farmer, mechanic or day laborer is shiftless or lazy, if he shirks downright hard work, if he is stupid or self-indulgent, then no law can save him, and he must give way to a better type.” Theodore Roosevelt, Autobiography.
He was talking in the vein of making laws to protect laborers from being taken advantage of. In the 1890’s this was important work as immigrants were flooding into the US and many of them were worked nearly to death. We can’t save everyone. Those who don’t want to save themselves, can’t be saved.
Can I give money to everyone who is short of money? No. What role do we play in our own situations? We have a role to play. Have we been given opportunities and then shirked them? Good earthly fathers have told countless sons and daughters that they can no longer help them. And saying no was the best thing that could have happened.
But God always has open arms. We can always come back to Him with confession and repentance. He is a loving and forgiving God even if the process involves some pain for us.