“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:25-26 KJV
We live in the age of love yourself, self-concept, self-help, self-awareness, selfies… You get the idea? Self, self, self…
I read something that really struck a nerve. And I’ve decided to go against the norm:
“If we live in a family or community where we can eat whenever we feel hungry, we have overflowing closets, and we have gifts given to us several times a year, then we are “rich.” By the worldwide standard, if we live in the USA, we are probably rich. And that messes with us, doesn’t it? We want to put that title off on people who live like royalty, but think about it… Compared to most people in our generation, and most people throughout history, we live like royalty. Are we saying that the only answer is to give everything away and take a vow of poverty? No. We are simply saying let’s open our eyes to the world around us, and open our hearts to God.”
I shared this statement with my children. So often, and I’m the first to admit that I’m guilty of this, we walk around saying/seeing what we don’t have. Never acknowledging, or realizing, how truly blessed we are.
Today is a time where we are never satisfied with what we have. We want more. We want bigger, better. Consumerism is alive and thriving! Just as soon as you purchase the latest and greatest phone, another comes out a few months later! Our cars aren’t enough. There is always a newer one out there with better features. A newer home with better updates.
In my rush to get out of the house this morning, I stopped and took a good look around. We have a lot of space, I thought to myself. My mind ventured on to the blessings that lay within the walls of our home. Never have we had to skip a meal. We don’t lack adequate clothing for every season, or even shoes. Still, why do we have the notion, at times that we lack? Or we don’t have enough? Aren’t we living beyond blessed?!
A little while back, as I began the need to feel content with what I had, where I was, and quite frankly, with life. I stopped eating out, stopped shopping for useless items. I decided to use what I already had, donate what I didn’t need, and prioritize my needs over my wants. Because, oh yes, there is a difference.
You see, God will supply all of our needs. And self is at the center of our wants.
“…Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself…” Mark 12:31 KJV
According to poverty.com, it is estimated that a person dies from hunger every 10 seconds. What an alarming statistic. We see them everywhere, everyday, don’t we? People hungry, dying… I’m not just talking about the ones on the side of the highway holding a sign. But, there are those whom look like you and me. Children in our neighborhoods, coworkers, neighbors, families in our churches. Do we invite them over for meals? Do we extend a helping hand?
One of the greatest commandments after loving God with our whole heart is to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves. How can we show this? How can we do this? For me, it is going the extra mile and being intentional about sharing a meal with someone who is hungry. Packing extra food and water, in case I see someone who needs it. I never gave it much thought, but my my kids reminded me of how I have been feeding the neighborhood kids since they could remember. I never gave it much thought.
My only desire, as of late, is to be His hands and feet.