Opportunism is not a positive word; not a positive thing. Wikipedia’s definition: the conscious policy and practice of taking selfish advantage of circumstances – with little regard for principles, or with what the consequences are for others. Therefore, an opportunist is someone who takes advantage of someone else’s misfortune….and for their own gain. That’s not nice!
But I have another perspective to think about. In fact, we’ve been practicing it to some degree for 20+ years. An ‘opportunist’ sees someone going through a bad time and they lurk around to see how they can personally capitalize, benefit or profit from their calamity. But what if we were to take a more positive position?? What if, when we see someone going through a bad time, we were to reach out to those people and, rather than take advantage of them, do whatever we could do to help them in their dilemma?
At one time we actually had a person at Trinity on a part-time salary to do just that. He was very good at it too. His name was James Daniels, or JD as we all called him. He had an uncanny knack for noticing people who were going through trials in their lives. He could quickly discern what their actual needs were and did whatever he could, whenever he could, , with whatever resources we had, to help. (JD passed away a few years ago) Instead of just waiting around for people to come our way for help we were actually being aggressive in searching those people/families out. It seems like just something that the church should naturally do!
Of course, it was a huge ‘difference maker’ in the lives of the affected families.….but more than that it gave them a ‘good taste’ of church and even more important, the kingdom of God. Oh, and we’d supply the help that we could with absolutely no strings attached. We think that’s how Jesus would do it.
Imagine how different the world would look if we would all think that way!! And maybe, just maybe the world would change how they think about the church….and it’s people!
I say, “Let’s all be opportunists”.…..but from a kingdom perspective!