Love the Giver More Than the Gift

Have you ever had occasion to marvel at the depth of devotion adherents to some of the religions of the world have to their god? Some physically blow themselves up as an act of devotion. Some dwell in hostile deserts under extreme conditions in following what the consider the will of their god. There is no limit to their commitment.

Conversely many devotees to Jesus can hardly be recognized as His follower. Many Christians whine and complain, “It’s not easy being a Christian.” Many who claim He has saved them rarely enter a house of worship. Mention giving and others recoil as though imposed upon.

Why is it that so many living in comfort in a land blessed by God show so little devotion to the giver of all blessings?

Could it be that those living in depriving conditions have no things to attract their commitment? Therefore, they serve their God and find fulfillment in him rather than things. In contrast we who have such an abundance of material goods give our devotion to things rather than to the God who has blessed us with those things. We are inclined to lay up treasure in places where moth and rust corrupt and thieves break through and steal. That is, we invest in an unpredictable stock market, vehicles that depreciate rapidly, hours requiring constant repairs and renovations, and expensive trips that rarely live up to expectations. These things are for but a season.

Those things are good and are intended for our good, but they are poor gods. They give little solace when things fall apart or disease and/or death come our way. The earthly treasures we lay up and devote ourselves to as they are our god don’t serve us well in times of crisis.

Again it deserves to be reiterated that things are to serve us, not that we should serve them as though they are gods lauding over us. Enjoy them with gratitude to God for them.

Tearing down old “barns” and building new larger ones is OK, but they must not become ends within themselves. Praise God for them and resolve to use them in a manner pleasing to Him. Keeping in mind it is in heaven we are to lay up treasures, not on earth.

Jesus’ narrative regarding it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven relates to a rich man who is depending on his material goods to get in. A camel can’t go through the eye of a needle. and neither can a person enter heaven depending on material things to get in.

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)