So this man parked his BMW on the side of the road, and opened the door. Suddenly, a speeding car appeared from nowhere, hitting the open door and ripped it off of his car. The man was outraged! When the police arrived at the scene, the man whined, “Officer, look what that person did to my Beemer! You have to find him and arrest him!” “You are so materialistic, you make me sick,” the officer snapped. “You’re so upset about your stupid BMW, that you didn’t even notice that your left arm was ripped off in the accident.” “Oh my gosh….”, gasped the man, finally noticing the bloody stump where his arm had been. “My Rolex!”
Selfishness, greed and covetness are so very often and unfortunately, an ugly part of our human condition. These things move us away from “real” life. Jesus shares some wisdom that moves us closer life that is truly life. It is interesting to me that God is a generous God, indeed, our Father who needs nothing—created everything. He gave the life of His Son that we might live a new life, free from the penalty of death for sin.
We often spend our lives wanting more, wanting wealth–and forget the truth of Jesus…upside down. In order to gain our life…..we must lose it. In order to be first….we must be last. In these nest words from Jesus, we are exhorted to be unselfish….like God……to share and to give.
Matthew 5:42 (NIV)
Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
The truth upside down is that if we want to move forward to true happiness and fulfillment, we must be more like God, not less.
I would point out here that Jesus is not telling us to blindly give everything we own away. He is simply telling us to put others needs before our own, unselfishly. Indeed, He is simply telling us to adopt a heart attitude of generosity.
Philippians 2:3-5 (NIV)
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.
When we work together, caring for the problems of others as if they were our problems, we show “Christ in us”, we are the living example of putting others first, and most importantly……we experience unity. Don’t be so concerned about making a good impression or meeting your own needs that you strain relationships with those around you. Give and you will receive. Learn to live a life a generosity. It will bring you one step closer to living a life that is real life.