We live in a society doused and dripping from every single side in overwhelming consumerism. Don’t look at me funny. You know it’s everywhere you go. On the side of the highway, in your mailbox, on your Facebook, in you email, on the radio, throughout your pinterest, instagram, grocery stores, airports, malls, television, churches and even on this blog. Goodness, just think about any time you have felt as though you are seriously missing out on something that could make your life considerably better if you just had, did, or went, blank. Paired with the undying sense of entitlement that our culture breeds and sinful nature eats alive. We talk about things like “simple living” fixing this problem, but we are so naive, are we not?
Today I was reading in Matthew 5 about generosity, service with a true heart of selflessness, and this seemly ancient concept called “loving recklessly while expecting nothing in return.” Sometimes we share, sometimes we share a lot. But do you ever notice something in your heart that festers within when you are soon in need and the helping hand does not come reaching back to you? Does the subliminal bitterness crawl beneath your skin and prod at your entitled consciousness? We hold tightly to what we have, and often we give freely the things that don’t mean much to us. Our time can be easier to dish out when we’re “free then anyway”, but what do you chose when 3 other priorities are on the list and they’re all in some way, shape, or form for you. We can be good at meeting a need, but sometimes we do just enough to feel like we’ve helped or make sure others know that we have.
I love this verse in Matthew that says “And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you” (Matt. 5:40-42). I love that word give. I’ve been learning how much it is not a simple verb, but a constant attitude of the heart. Living with eyes and a heart open to and longing to meet the needs of others for the sake of the gospel. Fighting the consumerist standpoint for and owe-nothing, need-nothing, selfless kind of love.
As I reflect back on my time in Uganda, Africa, I remember vividly the choice I had to make each day to pour into soul after soul, all the while knowing their ability to give back was for the most part limited to their heart. But thats all I wanted, a relationship. Sound familiar? Christ has shown us ultimate grace and has given us a gift we will NEVER have the means to repay, even if it was with all of our being, and His desire is for our heart. He knew we could not repay Him for his grace long before He made the choice to die for us. In fact, He knew our hearts would be cold and unthankful, but His heart was for us anyway. He chose us. And we have to choose to choose others.
What a God we ought to serve with reckless, abandon.