The gold is in the giving

I was recently talking with someone about how we live in a “consumer culture,” and about how deeply that kind of thinking has burrowed its way into our hearts and minds.

It’s hard to escape. We consume. Products, plastics, food, ideas, even people sometimes. We spend our days being battered by advertisements and promotions which convincingly tell us what we need to buy and consume to make us healthier and happier.

Maybe it’s just me but I think we can download this consumeristic mentality into our spiritual lives too:

-We can consume church, as if it’s a product to be accepted or rejected whose sole purpose is to meet our felt needs.

-We can consume Christ’s teachings, embracing what we already like and conveniently ignoring what makes us uncomfortable.

-And we can consume the spiritual blessings we receive, hogging every good thing in our lives as if we’re the only one who truly needs it.

But in Acts 20:35 Jesus says: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Consumers take. Christians give. I know that’s a simplistic way to say it. And I feel a bit convicted writing this. After all, I’m deeply ensconced in this consumeristic culture too and sometimes worry that I’m just playing into it as well.

So it’s helpful for all of us—including me—to be aware of the consumerism around us, push back, and remember that the gold is in the giving.

So what spiritual blessings have you received in your life? And how can you share what you’ve received with others?

Speaking about this same theme, Oswald Chambers writes: “God will never allow you to keep a spiritual blessing completely for yourself. It must be given back to Him so that He can make it a blessing to others.”

By Matthew Ruttan

  • “Up!” is published 5 days a week (Tuesday to Saturday) and returns on April 10th.

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