This quote by a famous professional athlete garnered much attention in the media. Of course the athlete was chastised for his selfishness. I find that chastisement to be hypocritical. How can a society pump up the hype on a person since middle-school and then get angry with him when he believes and lives it? The truth is that most people daily operate under, “I love me some me!” Whether quietly lived out or boldly stated, it is the rule not the exception.

Jesus calls us higher, “Come follow Me.” The cost of following Jesus means loving him first and putting his agenda ahead and instead of our own. Yesterday I was driving down the road and saw a man with crutches and a bag walking down the road. I was in a hurry to get things done so I flew past him. I had given him a ride once before – about a year ago. I thought, “he probably walks this road all the time, and its good exercise.” How’s that for justification? But then a better thought, “Jesus probably would have stopped to give him a ride.” So I turned back around to get him, but then another truck pulled over to pick him up. Was it a test that I barely passed, or was it an opportunity missed due to hesitancy? I’m not sure which. In either case, the lesson is to follow Jesus and to put others first.

Note: This post is not to be taken as a license to pick up any and every hitchhiker. There are five very specific rules that should be followed if you are considering picking one up.

1. Do you sense in your spirit that God is asking you to pick this person up? If not, keep driving.

2. It is 100 times safer to pick someone up if you have another passenger with you. You should ask the hitchhiker to sit in the front passenger seat and your friend to sit in the back seat behind the hitchhiker. If a physical altercation were to erupt your friend has a strategic advantage.

3. Give a call to the person you are headed to see, “Hey I just wanted to let you know that I am going to be a few minutes late. I picked someone up at “X” and am taking them to “Y”. I will call you in “Z” minutes to let you know when I will meet you.

4. Ladies should not pickup a male hitchhiker. You can rant that I am a sexist. Go ahead and send the hate mail, but if it saves your life I’m okay with it.  (Now there may be a rare exception to his rule if you know God has told you to do it, but you had better be VERY sure.)

5. Don’t pick up strangers unless you are ready to see Jesus. Even with precautions, it is a risky thing to do so you should be spiritually prepared for the possibility that you won’t be driving home.

II Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of sound mind.” Be sure to use all three – including common sense and Godly wisdom.