Join us today for an episode about the reason we need mercy not fairness...
Today's episode is focused on Genesis 45: 1-15 and Matthew 15: 21-28...
In today’s Spiritual Foundation Episode, I talk about both Genesis 45:1-15 and Matthew 15: 21-28. I talk about switching your questions to switch your mindset. I also talk about how we really need mercy not fairness.
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Episode 1349: Is It Fair?
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining me on episode 1349 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:00:08] David Somerfleck: Hi, I'm David Somerfleck from DeFacto Digital. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence, and impact the world by using your time, your talent,
[00:00:21] and your treasures to live out your calling. Having a firm grip on your calling and how to market it is key to doing this. And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to the Inspired stewardship podcast with my friend Scott Maderer.
[00:00:39] Scott Maderer: Her faith grows out of both a desperate need for her child, but also out of a willingness to challenge authority. A willingness to look at the runaway train that she is on [00:01:00] and say, Nope, my faith is bigger than that. And of course, out of this, it's not fairness that comes, but instead, mercy. Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:01:17] If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, And develop your influence so that you can impact the world.
[00:01:44] In today's spiritual foundation episode, I talk about both Genesis chapter 45 verses one through 15, and Matthew chapter 15, verses 21 through 28. I talk about switching your questions to switch your mindset, and I also talk about how [00:02:00] we really need mercy, not fairness. In Genesis chapter 45 verses one through 15 says, then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him.
[00:02:12] And he cried out, send everyone away from me. So no one stayed with him. When Joseph made himself known to his brothers and he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it and the household of Pharaoh heard it, Joseph said to his brothers, I am Joseph, is my father still alive? But his brothers could not answer him.
[00:02:29] So dismayed that, were they at his presence? Then Joseph said to his brothers, come closer to me. And they came closer. And he said, I'm your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here. For God sent me before you to preserve life.
[00:02:49] For the famine had been in these lands these two years. And there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. God sent me before you to preserve for you. A [00:03:00] remnant on earth and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me father to Pharaoh and Lord of all, his house and ruler over all the lands of Egypt.
[00:03:13] Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me Lord of all Egypt. Come down to me, do not delay. You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children's children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have.
[00:03:33] I will provide for you there, since there are five more years of famine to come, so that you and your household and all that you have will not come to poverty. And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin sees that it is my own mouth that speak to you. You must tell my father how greatly I am honored in Egypt, and all that you have seen.
[00:03:52] Hurry, and bring my father down here. Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck. And he [00:04:00] kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. And after that his brothers talked with him. Matthew chapter 15 verses 21 through 28 says, Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre in Sodom.
[00:04:16] Just then, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started chatting, Have mercy on me, Lord, son of David, my daughter is tormented by a demon. But he did not answer her, at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us. And he answered, I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
[00:04:36] But she came and knelt before him, saying, Lord, help me. He answered, It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs. And she said, Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table. Then Jesus answered her, Woman, great is your faith. Let it be done for you as you wish.
[00:04:55] And her daughter was healed instantly. [00:05:00] Now last week, if you listened, we left off the story of Joseph, where he was in a pit, and had just been sold into slavery, and now was on a train to Egypt. A runaway train, so to speak. At least it felt like to him. He was not in control. He was being pulled along by things bigger than him.
[00:05:20] He was being moved in a way that he didn't want to be moved. And yet, where did he end up? Eventually he ended up in a good job and then he lost that job and then he was in prison for many years. And then he was tossed before the Pharaoh and asked to produce like he was some sort of performing.
[00:05:40] monkey on a leash. But in the end it, it turned out well. He was given authority and power and he used that power wisely. And now he's second in command over all of Egypt. And then his brothers show up, hat in hand, needing a handout, needing some help. [00:06:00] And yet they were the ones that had thrown him into a pit because they didn't actually have the will to kill him, which was what they really were thinking about doing.
[00:06:08] And now they're standing on Joseph's doorstep, inches away from despair and destruction. And of course, he kicks them to the curve. Actually, no, he doesn't, but think about it, wouldn't you? This is your chance to get back at the people that had sold you into slavery, that caused you to be in prison, that caused you to have horrible things happen to you and things that were completely out of your control.
[00:06:37] And now you've got power and influence. And Joseph chose to use that power in a different way. There's lots of kissing and weeping. There's not a confrontation about long held grudges and chips on the shoulder. And in fact, I don't know about you, but when I read this story, part of me [00:07:00] thinks it's a little bit crazy.
[00:07:02] Yes, I know forgiveness sounds wonderful and in the abstract. It is wonderful. And yet at the same time, it feels wait a minute, the brothers are getting off scot free. They're not getting the punishment they deserve. They're not paying for their crimes. They're getting off easy. And we should feel okay with that.
[00:07:23] How is this fair? How is this right? How is this justice? But see, that's kind of part of the problem. The train that we all live on this runaway train of. Justice and fairness sometimes makes what is sane sound crazy and what is crazy sound sane. And maybe just stepping off the train actually makes more sense.
[00:07:49] Maybe living by different rules and trusting a different driver of your life makes more sense. See, that's what had happened to Joseph. He [00:08:00] had changed his thinking. He had changed his mindset. He had changed the way he lived his life. He'd switched trains. From the outside, maybe it looked the same. He still looked like the same Joseph.
[00:08:13] He still looked like things that are out of control. Tough stuff happens to him. He pays for mistakes, sometimes even mistakes that weren't his. But from the inside, it looks different. He was trusting in something different. He was trusting in something bigger than himself and bigger than his circumstances.
[00:08:34] He began to ask different questions. Instead of asking, Why me? Or, Why is this happening to me? Why is God doing this to me? He began to ask, What does God require of me now? No matter the depth of the now, no matter the depth of the hurt. No matter the injustice, no matter the [00:09:00] unfairness, he still could step back and ask, what does God require of me now?
[00:09:06] And then based on the answer he discovered, he followed the direction that God was giving him. He trusted that the train wasn't a runaway train after all, that it had a destination in mind. The problem was he just couldn't see it or understand it. Maybe even he didn't like it all that much. But he still leaned in and went along for the ride.
[00:09:28] He trusted in God. He trusted in the conductor of the train. Some of our greatest frustrations come not from the circumstances we are in, but from the belief that we have that God should have worked it out a different way. If only God had done it this way, the way that I wanted it to be, then it would be better.
[00:09:52] This Matthew story of the Canaanite woman is one of those that I think a lot of us as Christians, if you really read it, you [00:10:00] struggle with a little bit. She seems to be living in a world that isn't fair. She's living in a world where she has little power and she has no ability to control the outcome.
[00:10:11] She's overlooked, she's marginalized, and she became used to having to basically become loud. Just to get anything, just to be seen and heard. It's probably implied that she had been a sufferer and subject to abuse long before Jesus shows up. So she shrugs off the name calling and leans into the image provided.
[00:10:39] Even the dogs exist on crumbs. Because maybe this would mean that her child lived a little bit longer. I don't know if this was a test on Jesus's part. I don't know whether he was just kidding. I don't know if maybe he didn't really call her a dog, but a puppy. Maybe he [00:11:00] was having a bad day. You hear all sorts of excuses for the words that Jesus used.
[00:11:06] And I cannot speculate. I do not know what went on in Jesus's mind when he spoke these words. And I'm not sure what he was trying to accomplish. And in fact, this story, if you read what came right before it in Matthew 10 through 20, there's that passage where basically God or Jesus says, but what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart and what defiles.
[00:11:32] For out of our heart comes evil intentions. He talks about the mouth and the tongue and the power of the words that we use revealing what's in the heart. And yet here, the words that come out of Jesus's mouth seem to be insulting to the woman. How are we supposed to learn something from this encounter and learn about how we speak of others or [00:12:00] respond to words that hurt?
[00:12:02] Out of this, Jesus commends the woman's faith in the end. Maybe he sees in her a faithful persistence that's not giving up even when pressed down and insulted by those in power. Her faith grows out of both a desperate need for her child but also out of a willingness to challenge authority. A willingness to look at the runaway train that she is on and say, Nope, my faith is bigger than that.
[00:12:34] And of course, out of this, it's not fairness that comes, but instead, mercy. Thanks for listening.
[00:12:48] Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but [00:13:00] act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode, do me a favor, go over to facebook. com slash inspired stewardship and like our Facebook page and market that you'd like to get notifications from us so that we can connect with you on Facebook and make sure that we're serving you to the best of our abilities with time and tips there.
[00:13:31] Until next time, invest your time, your talent, and your treasures. Develop your influence and impact the world.
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Then Jesus answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed instantly. - Matthew 15: 28