I’m a bit haunted by it now . . .
That’s not necessarily a bad thing; I actually find it to be one of the few nuggets of wisdom worth having that I shared over the years as a teacher in the Church.
I think you’ll find that if we’re honest with ourselves we all do hypocritical things. When you teach others how to walk though, those times you’re not following your own advice screams at you all the louder.
This time I actually did take my own advice, and it felt really good. In some ways it stung at first. Doing what’s right often does; it can feel as if you are giving in, relinquishing control (which you never really had), or making a big commitment.
When we have grown old or stand before God and give account we won’t only see the big decisions, but all the daily ones which led to a particular end. Living a life for God is about much more than big things; it’s about taking a lifetime of steps in the right direction. We all eventually get to the place we’ve been traveling towards; tell the truth about small things and you eventually reach a place of honesty. Choose to act like Jesus in small ways each day and eventually you actually resemble what the name Christian means.
So what is the thing that haunts me? Several years ago I taught in class that every dollar we spend is an investment in someone’s kingdom, God’s or ours. I vaguely remember one of my students rewording it via social media just long enough afterwards that he had probably forgot where he heard it originally. But I haven’t forgot. I haven’t forgot that something stuck. I haven’t forgot that I should practice what I preach.
My life has consisted too much of going from one purchase to the next. Nearly every time I got something I wanted I became ready to sell or trade it by the time the new wore off. It’s likely you have been in the same boat. You worked towards that new ATV or dress or whatever only to have the sparkle wear off before the first payment. So then you fixated on the next thing, and so on.
I’m not claiming I will never buy something I want ever again. But recently I decided to at least break the cycle. I virtually woke up and realized I was doing it again; I was plotting to get the next toy. It occurred to me that it was high time I started storing up treasure where moth and rust cannot corrupt it. It was time I spent money on something not simply for my pleasure, but that could bring Him glory. Like I said before it stung a little; it felt as if I was giving up on a dream. I haven’t regretted it though; maybe we all could stand to let go of a dream or two about us and start dreaming about what we could do for Him.
What if we gave up that next toy and instead chose to invest it in God’s kingdom? What if that investment was for a band that worships the one true God? What if someone sneaks in and stands at the back somewhere that band is playing, just out of curiosity mind you, and can hear the lyrics clearly because of the band’s new speakers. She starts listening as some of the words express the pain she feels but cannot iterate; tears fill her eyes as she suddenly realizes she’s not alone; she learns that God actually does love her because she can feel it now for the first time; someone beside her becomes her friend; he tells her more and gives her hope again; a lifetime from now you meet her for the first time in Heaven. The thing you wanted to buy would have been long gone by now, just like the speakers are. The interest from your investment though, that will never stop paying interest my friend.
Every dollar we spend is an investment. Are you investing in something that will never decay?