My Arrogance With Fish
It has been said if you give a man a fish, he will eat for the day. If you teach him to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.
I like to hear myself talk. My wit can be arrogant, demeaning and belittling. I say: ‘if you give a man a fish, he will probably ask for tartar sauce.’ I say this. Then I wait for everyone to laugh with me as I speak from my position of neither having to ask for fish or tartar sauce. The truth is, I have access to almost every kind of fish, relish and sauce any time I have a desire to eat in any quantity I desire. Everything looks good from the point of view of a man who has a freezer full of frozen Alaska crab legs, Tilapia, shelves full with sardines and a variety of hot sauces. My arrogant wit is an attempt at poking fun at a people who have the audacity to ask for my help.
‘How dare they? Why don’t they just go get a job and quit begging for help? They should get off of the corner with their cardboard mats and take care of themselves. The last thing I want to do is to give them a fish. I don’t want to make them dependent on me.’
Jesus never asked anyone he encountered ‘why didn’t they get it together?’ He never prodded to find out why they were in trouble. He just gave them fish. He didn’t inspect, interrogate or admonish them for being on the side of the road, hiding in a cave, or waiting by the poolside. He just fed them.
Of course people should to learn to fish. To do this requires a willing teacher, someone who knows how to fish, proper equipment, fishing gear, bait and possibly a boat and of course access to a body of water that actually has fish.
Whenever I pass someone on the street corner I need to check my arrogant humor. I don’t know what teachers they may or may not have had, I don’t know what equipment life offered them and I don’t know what access to opportunity they may have had to care for themselves. And so what if the man asks for tartar sauce? I enjoy the extras in life. Why shouldn’t he?
And why shouldn’t they become dependent on me? Shouldn’t they be dependent on me to show them human kindness, a respectful look, a smile and yes even a fish with sauce now and then.
Luke 6:30-31 says, “Give to everyone who asks you”
John 9:1-3 Now as Jesus was passing by, He saw a man blind from birth, and His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God would be displayed in him