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For full effect, it is important to start with the earliest entries and work your way through the exercises to the most recent.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Example 2: "Pay it forward"

To "pay it forward" means to pay for the food for the next person in line, usually at a drive through when it can be done anonymously.  You have heard about it and how it often happens at Chick-Fil-A's the favorite fast food of evangelical Protestants and evangelical Catholics alike.

It so happens that you are in line at a Chick-Fil-A when you look in your rear view mirror and you notice the man in the car behind you is having a difficult time with his two boys in the back seat. When he rolls down his window to order you can hear him yelling at his kids to shut up or he is taking them home.  When it is your turn to pay, you pay for your own food with a credit card and then take twenty dollars from your wallet and tell the cashier that you will pay for the man behind you too.  As soon as you have your food you drive off as quickly as you can, and get as far down the road as you can.

About yourself...
(1) Would you have done this if it was a McDonald's instead of a Chick-Fil-A?
(2) Why did you pay for his food with cash?
(3) Why did you drive off so quickly as if you were running away from scratching someone's door?

About the father and his family?
(1) What was the political persuasion of the man behind you?
(2) What do you think the reaction of his boys were when they heard this?  Did they think better of their father or worse?
(3) What do you think the reaction of the father was?  Did he feel better about himself or worse?
(4) Did he "pay it forward too?"  If yes why?  If no, how do you think he felt the next time he went to Chick-Fil-A?
(5) Did he tell his wife what happened when he got home?

About the cashier?
(1) What was her feeling when you paid it forward?  What does she think about Chick-Fil-A?

Now read the parable of the unjust steward (Luke 16:3-13).

How do you think the steward, clearly aware of his own dishonesty and corrupt motivations, would have reacted to the commendation of the master at the end of the parable?
(a) With self-adulation?  After all, he is pretty clever and it's good the master recognized it.
(b) With guilt.  He does not deserve the praise of the master.  He is dishonest.
(c) With incredulity.  The praise is meaningless.
(d) With repentance?

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