When Living Generously Feels Scary as….Well, You Know

the-story-is-bigger-blog-header

 

Last October, I had a stand-off in the book of Matthew, chapter 10 to be exact.

Bring health to the sick.

Raise the dead.

Touch the untouchables.

Kick out the demons.

You have been treated generously, so live generously.

~verse 8

The first four directives sounded to me like something only Jesus himself could do, or at the very least, someone hyper-spiritual.  Health to the sick…yeah, Jesus did that.  Raise the dead…Jesus did that too.  Touch the untouchables…Jesus again – and also Mother Theresa.  Kick out the demons…a picture of the tough-guy Jesus there.

It’s that last line that was causing me problems.  Specifically, the word ‘you.’

You have been treated generously, so live generously.

That wasn’t talking about Jesus.  The sentence was turning squarely around and pointing at me.  And just like that, the other four commands were staring me in the face as well.  And I had a choice to make.

Did Jesus do all of those things?  Yes, absolutely He did.  He did them for me, and for you.

He healed my wounded, selfish heart.

He had raised dreams that I thought were long dead back to life.

He wasn’t afraid to reach out and touch the parts of my heart, my soul, my personality that I would have preferred to keep hidden because I was ashamed of them.

He fought for me.

***

Sometimes I forget.  I forget all that He’s done, and that He still does, for me – just because He’s fond of me.  But when I do remember, the gratefulness wells up easily from within.  It’s pretty easy to say ‘thank you.’ Especially when there’s no way you could ever repay the gift and so the words are the only gift you can offer.

Except Jesus seems to be saying here that something else can be offered.  Not as a method of repayment, but as a way of response.  We can say ‘thank you’ by living generously.

He says:

“All these things I’ve done for you?  You didn’t have to earn them.  You still don’t.  But if you want to say ‘thank you,’ go and do the same things that I’ve done for you to others.  Let Me use you to bring healing to someone else’s heart.  Speak life to dead dreams.  Draw close to those that society says are untouchable.  Fight for others, not against them.  You’ve been treated generously, so go and live generously.”

***

And so I/we had a choice to make.

We could stay comfortably settled, the two of us and our dog.  The house was recently finished and for the first time in several years, we weren’t packing to move or doing major renovations.  We could stay in our financial happy place.  We could avoid all the unknowns that stepping into this adoption process would bring.

Or…

Or we could take a deep breath and draw close to those that might seem untouchable.  We could fight for someone that no one else was fighting for.  We could live our ‘thank you’ to Christ by opening our hearts and home to the possibility of being hurt.  With no guarantee that things would work out perfectly.

Truthfully?  Well, the choice was scary as….well, you know.

But the bigger truth was that we’ve been treated so generously by Christ.  Living generously is the best way we can say ‘thank you.’

 

 

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