A selfish heart.
Competition among people for resources can be cut-throat. If resources are diminished then competition rises dramatically. When we are the ones looking for scarce resources we know what we want and we'll do whatever it takes to procure them. We have selfish hearts.
I'm guessing that many of the goofy reality TV shows are based upon this principle. Sociologists must marvel at how far a person will go to undermine another all in the name of survival. Humanity seems to be endowed with self-preservation; we want to survive. Nothing new under the sun here. Return to your homes citizens, nothing to see here.
The psalmist, in this case David, knew what he wanted and needed. He wasn't shy about crying out to God in order to get much needed resources. Nothing wrong with David's plea. I would do the same thing. You would too, I'm sure.
"Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD; may your love and your truth always protect me. For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me. Be pleased, O LORD, to save me; O LORD, come quickly to help me." (Psalm 40:11-13, NIV)
What tends to cloud the waters is when we ignore or choose to deny resources from others. Perhaps one resource that gets hoarded is hospitality and kindness, especially to those we deem undeserving. Maybe it is how somebody looks or....smells. Maybe they speak loudly or appear sullen and disconnected. Whatever the reason for keeping our distance, we have effectively diminished our own resource pool. The resource pool we have isn't filled because of our own prowess, but by the grace of God.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does
not change like shifting shadows." (James 1:17, NIV)
If we choose to get selfish with hospitality and kindness to others, how likely is God to continue pouring provisions into our reservoir? God's grace is always without bounds and God loves us but I wonder how many times we could cry out to God for help then ignore people around us who are crying the same prayer?
In today's hospitality devotion, this statement was posed, "We are no different." If we ever have cause to claim superiority over others and grasp a special connection to God, then we need to look into a mirror. We are no different than those we deem undeserving. The Bible says that all people have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. That's you and me in case you were confused. None of us deserve saving. Yet, God's great grace pursues us to save us anyway.
It's time to take inventory of our resource silo. It's time to open the doors and let that stockpile of hospitality and kindness flow toward others. Freely we have received, freely we should give. It's a God thing. A selfish heart is not a God thing.