Our kids are selfish. (I don’t think it’s just our kids, is it?) They insist on what they want, when they want it, and where they want it. And when they exclaim, “It’s mine!” we have a couple of choices. We can take the item away and make them share, or we can go deeper to the heart level, and explain that they actually don’t own anything. We want to teach our children that they are stewards, not owners, just as we are learning ourselves. God owns everything, and He blesses us with so many things, not just for ourselves, but so that we can share with others. So, over the years, whenever our children try to claim “ownership” over something, we remind them that their toy, Webkin, candy, etc, is not theirs, but God’s.
Well, earlier this week, our 3-year-old Sender showed his understanding of this truth, in his own twisted way. A friend was over, just a few months younger than he is. They mostly played well, but at one point Sender had a toy that the other boy wanted. Quickly, Sender clutched the toy to his chest and started to claim ownership. He got as far as, “It’s mi—,” when he caught himself. I guess he knew that wasn’t right. So, then he started to say that it was God’s. He only got as far as “It’s G—“ when he again paused. He knew that if he admitted that it was God’s then he would be ‘convicted’ to share the toy.
So instead of proclaiming the truth (“It’s God’s”) which would lead to a life-change application (“I can share”), he said nothing, walking away still holding the toy.
Are we not all that self-deceptive? We claim to trust God in our words, but when it comes to application, we aren’t willing often enough to make the sacrifice in order to bless others. As Matt Williams taught (see February 14, under “Fear & Freedom”) in his sermon this past week, giving is a gospel issue. We should give not just because it’s a good thing, but because Jesus gave all for us. Any sacrifice we make to bless others is peanuts compared to what He did for us, and His sacrifice should be all the motivation we need.
In what ways do you need to give and share, as a reflection of God’s ownership and Jesus’ sacrifice? How can you move from mere head-knowledge of trust in God, to life-change application? Here are some ideas:
- Give (financially) just a little more, and see God provide for you
- Get in Biblical community
- Organize a social event or project for your Community Group; don't let it all fall on your leader
- Serve more often and more sacrificially in your local church
- Go on that mission trip that’s on your mind
- In your local church, don’t go to the most crowded worship service just because it’s convenient for you
- Spend more quantity, not just quality, time with your kids
- Take your children’s pastor out to lunch (OK, if not that, at least make him feel better by leaving a comment on his blog)
- Say “no” to a work opportunity that will cause you to have less time and energy for you family and church
Any other ideas of how you've been learning to trust God through being courageously-generous with your time, money, etc?