During my daughter’s recent hospitalization, I noticed a piece of furniture that I had never seen before, at this hospital or others where I have been on staff. It was a metal stool, easily overlooked amidst the dozens of other stools, chairs, and instrument stands, except for what was written on the seat. In bold black letters, the following was written:
As a physician, I was intrigued and embarrassed. On the surface it smacked of elitism, favoring physicians over all other health care providers. Investigating a bit more, I learned the origin. It was the nursing staff and hospital administration who were the motivating factors to create this. In the confined quarters around a patient’s bed, family members and other acquaintances of the patients would often crowd out the physician who most needed to be in the room or at the bedside. It was out of gratitude the stool was provided for the physicians so that the patient could receive their undivided attention. With this revelation, the stool was not a symbol for disenfranchisement, but rather gratitude to the relationship and bond of the physician and patient, provided by a benevolent and thoughtful hospital staff.
In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Ephesians 1:5-6 (ESV)
Some Christians behave with an arrogant or elitist attitude toward non-believers, brandishing their salvation as a badge of honor. This attitude is despicable and the antithesis of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I do not view my salvation as a badge of honor but, rather, as a mark of humility, an undeserved gift from God. There is no reason why God should offer His salvation to me or anyone who has ever lived. We have all sinned and fallen short of reconciling the broken relationship we have with God, our Creator. I do not deserve salvation and yet, Jesus Christ, died for me, when I did not know Him or even when I flagrantly rejected Him. He was tortured and executed on the humiliating Cross. He received the punishment I justly deserved for turning my back upon God with my sinful behavior. There is no room for elitism when we confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. It is only gratitude.
Like researching the origins of the M.D. Only stool, when one takes the time to investigate the meaning of God choosing some for salvation, a more sobering and compassionate reason will emerge. God has saved me, one who least deserves it, but I do not know who else God has chosen to save. This should motivate me to share the Good News of Jesus Christ to everyone whom I meet. I cannot be selective or view the Gospel as path to disenfranchisement for certain groups of peoples. It is not a paved highway to elitism but a dusty and broken road leading to gratitude to a gracious and merciful God who desires that no one should perish, but all may come to eternal life and salvation by confessing and repenting of one’s sins and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Salvation and eternal life, offered to every living person.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.