Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Price of Friendship

Today, I read an article on our state newspaper’s website, the News and Observer, about a woman who shelled our $25,000 to her veterinarian for saving her beloved pet dog Tony. Tony suffered from a ruptured disc. He underwent major surgery and spent 30 days on a ventilator in recovery. The $25,000 bill doesn’t even cover the expensive physical therapy that the dog will need to return to health.

Tony’s owner put most of the bill - $16,000 – on one of her credit cards and plans to have a yard sale to help cover the rest of the cost. The article stated that the bill showed how far her owner was willing to go to maintain a relationship.

First of all, I think it is tragic that our society has become so affluent that we can afford to treat our pets better than we treat human beings. Having traveled extensively in the past 10 years – and not to tourist destinations mind you – to see the way the rest of the world lives in light of this excess is astonishingly criminal! (I am by no means against capitalism. I am against the misuse of the blessings of capitalism.)

Second, I think of the many Christians I know of that would indulge in the same kind of, or similar, excess yet fail to give more than a mere pittance to God for building His Kingdom. Many American believers live in houses much larger than we need and drive $40,000 SUVs. We buy $150 tennis shoes for our children and entertain ourselves with $3000 televisions. Truly sinful!

Now, to my point…I wonder, what would happen if Christians placed this kind of value on human relationships - especially relationships with lost people? Is there a price too high to pay when it comes to reaching people with the gospel? Our pets become a part of our family, but we refuse to tell a neighbor, friend or co-worker how to become a member of God’s family?

Meditate on that thought…

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