This summer has been about exploration. And not just because we're trying out all of Mobile's parks, playgrounds, museums, and restaurants. Our home life, too, is a lab experiment for spousal role shifts, home learning, and never-tried recipes.
Perhaps the greatest adventure of all is finding our place here... Searching for new friends and a new place to belong. Of course, we're at a great advantage compared to most new residents. Brad's position at the church means we're remembered for social events. We're on the radar. We're invited. It makes life easier, and I never take it for granted.
The perks of ministry simultaneously comfort and bother me. Jesus warned His followers they would be persecuted and hated for His sake. Yet I enjoy the social benefits of Christianity and am not alienated for my faith. It is a response opposite of what Jesus predicted His true followers would receive. I can't reconcile it.
Don't worry; I'm not going to become more offensive to seek out persecution. Offense is a byproduct of true faith lived, and never the goal.
On the contrary, everything we do should be rooted in love, first towards God, and then towards man for the sake of them also knowing God.
And maybe that's my problem... I'm rooted in love, but maybe it's more love of self than love of God and man.
Maybe I so enjoy being a recipient -- a benefactor of the gifts of ministry -- that I've failed to notice a million ways I should be pouring all I receive back out at the feet of Jesus... through service to others.
"Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more." Luke 12:48 b
Whatever gifts we're given --
whatever gifts you and your family are given --
experience in suffering...
we've been entrusted with God's spiritual investment in us. And we are warned to invest wisely. In the spiritual realm, wise investment never involves mitigating risk and padding personal accounts. Wise spiritual investment always means emptying all we have towards God's kingdom. (our energy, our resources, our time, our talents) It always looks risky, and makes us appear broke.
But I'm ready to be spent for Christ.