Friday, June 5, 2015

Mosiah 4:19-20 -- On Beggars and Choosers

"For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend on the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?
And behold, even at this time, ye have been begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy."
Mosiah 4:19-20

I was thinking today about the phrase "beggars can't be choosers,"  which reminded me of this scripture.  I have said that phrase before many times, and even once accidentally said to a friend of mine who was homeless.  I regretted that last one as soon as it came out of my mouth, but in thinking about it today, I think I regret most of the times. As King Benjamin mentions in the verses above, we are all beggars when it comes to God.  Everything we have and are is in some way dependent on him, and our futures and eternities we owe to him too, because he made all of that possible.  But, as King Benjamin also mentions, he never treats us like beggars.  Even though in any negotiation we are at a complete disadvantage, still he makes agreements with us, and does everything he can to uplift us and make us better.  He forgives us and loves us, even though we aren't very good at forgiving and loving.  And beggars can't be choosers, right?  Except we TOTALLY are.  We want everything this way or that way, always things aren't good enough, or we need more, or we ignore all the crazy amazing blessings we have and ask for that other one, and often that one that we should really never have.  Even though we are beggars in a very real way, and thus should accept what God gives us and be grateful... we're always asking for more, and better, and different, and being very choosy and picky about what we accept and what we don't. :)  God, in his infinite love and mercy puts up with us, because he is our father, and he is teaching us along the way.  He wants us to learn to make correct choices, so he allows some of the crazy ones while we are learning.
Today, let's remember that we are beggars asking for steak dinners and not just scraps or a few coins.  Let's be overwhelmingly grateful to God, who often gives us extravagant things even though we have no right to ask for them... and even when he doesn't, he still lets us choose our own way, and never makes us feel that we are unworthy of his notice.
And maybe, before we say "beggars can't be choosers" next time, let's think about whether we should follow God's example and let beggars choose a little more. :)

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