So imagine you’ve suddenly come into a large amount of money. You can choose to increase your standard of living, make some more decadent choices… After all, you’re certainly free to. The money is rightfully yours, and you’ve worked hard on a small income for so long.
But this freedom also implies you can choose not to make such choices. Your newfound wealth also gives you options to spend it on the less fortunate – at least some of it. To help out a family member in crisis, or to maintain your standard of living and save for something more long-term than a few extra outfits every week.
Whether we have a little, or a lot, we have choices. Every day of our lives. We have choices and freedoms others do not.
And when we have Christ in our lives we are never poor. When we join his family we immediately inherit all the privileges. Not because we deserve them through the things we’ve done, but because he is loving, forgiving, gracious – and he simply wants us in his family. He wants to lavish upon us spiritual blessings such as we’ve never dreamed. Offer us a living, breathing relationship that by its nature blesses others.
But sometimes we think too much. Sometimes we try so hard to analyse all the ins and outs of our faith. And that’s important to do sometimes. But we can get so lost in the theory that we forget that, quite simply, we are astoundingly wealthy. We have so much to be thankful for. And simply, so much to give.
We can tend to act like rich people who don’t know they’re loaded. Or who, perhaps, don’t really want to be. We believe that wallowing in self-pity is somehow more spiritual. More godly. Not that depression doesn’t happen to us sometimes, believe me. But recognising our true inheritance can put a delightful spin on things.
And at some stage, it helps us to realise the life we think is ‘the ultimate’ is really just a pale imitation of the joy that’s found in Christ…
C.S. Lewis put it this way:
“We are half-hearted creatures fooling around with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
Far too easily pleased… because perhaps our way of living – fulfilling as it might seem – is just that little bit too comfortable? Too familiar?
What might we be missing?
Again, we have choices. Do we choose to recognise – deeply – the spiritual endowment we’ve already received, or do we go on making mud pies? Do we let the love we have overflow to others who don’t know it yet… or do we simply keep it to ourselves?
We have to truly know and understand what we have in order to be able to give it away. And we need God’s help with that.
Lord, we pray for understanding of your rich, deep, all-consuming love, so that passing it on becomes the easiest, most wonderful thing in the world. Oh God, may we truly know…