December 31, 2011

Some Thoughts On Giving More in 2012

I’m reading a book that’s main focus is about a “hole” in the Gospel. The author’s main point is that the Gospel of Christ is more than just believing, it’s also about living it out through tangible expressions of our faith.

I had a bit of an epiphany recently. I was walking around totally engulfed in myself when suddenly a question popped into my head. It was actually kind of simple yet profound. The question was: “What have I done today that isn’t about ME?” Ouch, right?

That question hasn’t left me. The more I think about it, the more simple it becomes. And I wonder what 2012 might be like if we asked ourselves this every day and had an answer other than “wow, not much”. Could this take us a small step away from our self absorbed mentality and move us toward intentionally and tangibly acting out God’s love like He intends us to do?

Jesus tells a story about a rich man who isn’t willing to forsake everything for Him. That’s a little bit hard to relate to, the idea of forsaking EVERYthing. It really makes you wonder what kind of disciple am I really willing to be. But what if we start by just forsaking SOMEthing? What if we asked ourselves “what did I do today that wasn’t about me?” so often that it really got ingrained into who we are and we see what God does with it? Then, I think we get closer to the Gospel overflowing from our head and our heart to our hands and our feet.

The Ausbury family will be looking for ways we can really act out our faith this year both individually and together as a family. We’re setting up a bulletin board so we can routinely see what this looks like.

An interesting point made in the book I’m reading refers to Matthew 25 where Jesus gives a glimpse at the final judgement where the goats and sheep are divided. The author’s point is not about making sure you are a believer so that you fall into the right group (the sheep), he points out that if you look further into Matthew 25 you’ll see that the goats and sheep are separated based not on their confession of Christ, but on how they acted out their faith to the poor, the sick, etc. I never saw this verse that way, but I think it’s a good point.

I wrote a 2012 version of Matthew 25:35-36 to consider:

For I was hungry while you enjoy all you can eat buffets.
I was a stranger and you went out of your way to avoid me.
I was thirsty while you actually threw away bottles of water.
I needed clothes while you have 3 of the same turtleneck.
I was sick and you acted like I had it coming.
I was in prison and you said I was getting what I deserved.

Anyone up for giving more than you’ve ever given in 2012? I hope to be blogging about these things this year.

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December 31, 2011