Remembering I’m Rich

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

After praying that God would make these words true for me as a wife, mother, friend – person – I’ve been wondering what holds me back from this. Why don’t I behave on a daily basis like this is true?

I long to be generous. With my time, energy, attention: with every resource that I have. But instead I notice myself hoarding those things. Carefully planning out how much I am willing to give, and when, and to who, so that I can make sure I have something left for myself. And God forbid someone should ask for or demand more than what I’ve decided I can give that day (like, children trespassing on the holy ground of post-bedtime-wind-down-time…because, seriously? I am ‘off’ thankyouverymuch…).

In Adopted for Life, Russell Moore talks about bringing their two sons home from Russia and discovering the boys were hiding food. Coming from a really awful orphanage where they had to fight for scraps and never knew what their next meal would be, if it came at all, they learned to take matters into their own hands. And even at their new home in Mississippi, it took them a long time to trust their new reality: that there would always be the next meal. They didn’t need to hoard and hide what was given to them because they weren’t orphans anymore, they were sons. And they had parents that would make sure their every need was met.

Ephesians 1:3-8 says, “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before He made he world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.”

When we hoard and hide, we are acting like we are still orphans. Like it is basically up to us to get our needs met. Like we have to fend for ourselves, to fight for and protect ourselves.

I imagined how the Moores felt watching their sons, whom they loved so much, hiding their cheerios and bananas like they did when they were still all alone as orphans — while they knew they had a full ‘fridge and pantry and already proved they would go to the ends of the earth at great expense to them (and how much more the Publix down the street) for their boys. They probably longed to communicate that their mom and daddy take joy in giving them what they need and delight in giving them good things. They hearts probably ached a little that there wasn’t trust yet, that they hadn’t yet realized who they were now. They weren’t alone. They were Moores. They were rich (for all intents and purposes). They would never go hungry again.

Likewise, I wonder what happens in the heart of God when He sees us, whom He loves so much, hoarding ourselves and our resources like we did when we were still all alone as orphans — while He knows He’s already blessed us with EVERY. SPIRITUAL. BLESSING in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. He already proved that, before the foundation of the world, He would do everything for us – at the greatest expense of the blood of His son. And that He wanted to bring us into His family, it gave Him great pleasure.

We can trust Him. We are not alone. We are God’s beloved children. We are rich now. We will always have what we need. He loves to provide for us and give us good things.

So next time I am tempted to be ungenerous, to guard and hoard my time, attention, energy and resources (like I was this morning and I will be again in five minutes), I pray that I will be quicker lift my eyes to the One who promised that it is more blessed to receive. He could promise that because He knew who His Father was and He knew who He was and what was His…and what is ours.

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before He made he world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.”

God is rich in kindness and grace. We can be rich in kindness and grace because we are His and He is ours. He has showered us with kindness, may we be people who shower kindness on those around us.

And may we find that it really is true that it’s a more joyful thing to give than to receive.

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