Yes, To the Right Things

Posted by Melvin Bray on August 16th, 2006 filed in Useful Perhaps

As you may have already read, I believe church exists to resource good in the world. My own personal sense of mission is to know, be known and help others come into their own. Just yesterday it dawned on me just how these two impetuses tend to interact with one another in my life.

I don't have or want much. Stuff doesn't matter much to me. What I do have are some wonderful relationships. They are my resources, and it's my relationships that I seek to marshal when someone comes to me with a need.

Now, I can imagine that some of my friends get sick of me calling them on others' behalf, but that's alright. And from now on I will probably feel even less self-conscious about it. You see, it just dawned on me yesterday that one of my purposes in the lives of my friends (for we all have a purpose in each other's lives) is to keep them missionally honest and missiologically engaged. I am a bleeding heart and have no problem reminding my friends just how much we've been blessed. It's not about guilt, however, it's about gratitude. Real gratitude (appreciation) let's love continue, by passing it on.

Don't get me wrong. It's not always easy. Some of those I love want me to sign a promissory note in blood before they're willing to give to someone else. If it happens to be someone with whom I share faith communion, all I can do is smile to myself. For them, reserve is stewardship. They don't want to be careless with what they attribute to being from God, for God or God's (as in church resources). I can't blame them for that. Additionally, I suppose, like anyone else, they don't want to be taken advantage of. What amuses me is that I can't think of one time Jesus admonished his followers to avoid being taken advantage of. However, I can't stop thinking of instances when he asks us to give ourselves away. "As you have freely received, freely give."

Good stewardship, like ownership, is not just about knowing when to say no; it's about saying yes to the appropriate things.

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