At a recent family gathering at my sister and brother-in-law’s house, our 2 year old grandson attempted to empty some toys from a container. In the process, it toppled and loudly spilled all the toys in the bucket onto the floor. It got really quiet. With wide eyes Daniel said, “I made a big mess!” Amidst the laughter, he was asked what he was going to do about it. He said, “I clean it up” and began to meticulously put every one of the toys back in the container before taking some out to play with.
During the recent G2 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, hundreds of masked people rioted, vandalized, ransacked shops, set cars on fire, and battled the police. The protestors made a big mess. Knowing that the vandals were very unlikely to clean up their city, a group of people took to social media and organized a cleanup effort on Facebook under the group #Hamburgraumtauf. Around 10,000 citizens showed up to help clean up their city, in order to set an example against vandalism. The people painted the walls of buildings to remove the graffiti, swept up the debris in the streets, and helped clean up the vandalized and ransacked shops. When interviewed, one of the city officials stated, “It is important that we not only clean up the city of garbage and glass but also of all kinds of extremism.”
It is one thing to willingly clean up your own mess and quite another to voluntarily clean up someone else’s mess, especially when they do not help in the process. May we be responsible about cleaning up our own messes and also be willing to be the hands and feet of Jesus to help others clean up theirs.
And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
I Thessalonians 5:14
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.
For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.
2 Corinthians 8:21
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
I Peter 3:12