Last month our church received a BIG GIFT. Two days ago we distributed 10% of the BIG GIFT to the congregation and asked them to invest God’s money in whatever way the Spirit leads. At a potluck following the service we asked people what all this felt like to them.
Although I worried that some might feel we were exercising poor stewardship and that others might be angry, I mostly expected people to feel as scared and off-balance as I had felt these past weeks. The first reactions were pretty much just that:
- I thought “WOW. What an incredible gift. And one that is so in tune with what God and Jesus show throughout history. How nice. What an awesome responsibility.”
- OMG! Now I can help someone in the way I want to!
- I got sweaty palms…. And if I’m nervous about $500, $1.5 is that much more serious.
- What!! WHY!!! I don’t deserve this, I don’t think I want the responsibility of living out the parable of the talents. But then I got over myself, and my heart melted with gratitude and expectations of helping others who may feel the same.
- Don’t screw this up, WOW what an act of faith, I want to make God and the church proud of my choice.
I know just how they feel. It’s how I feel too. This concrete blessing of $500 I’ve received to bless others is just a shadow of the richness God has given to each one of us.
I thought about the unique and amazing gifts of a few of our church leaders who made this decision with me. How one is simply extraordinary kind; and how another has such deep compassion and still another approaches problems with laser-like logic. All those great qualities are gifts, blessings to be put in service to Christ’s kingdom. We don’t think of our very character as being gifts– but they are.
I’m thinking that $500 is the smallest of gifts we are going to receive as we bless others. The real gift will be how our eyes are opened to see all of these other gifts that have been right here beside us all along. Just waiting to be given to others.
We all have those gifts. Today I’m praying we are more conscious about how we’re using them.