Let's Build Something
Recently, my in-laws came to visit and they brought us a great gift that brought me back to my childhood. They had kept all of my wife’s Legos (with instructions!) from her childhood and they gave them to us so we could (in theory) share them with our kids. My wife was so excited that she found the instructions, poured out the Legos, and said “Let’s build something.”
Just like my wife, I LOVED Legos growing up. I loved following the instructions and building everything from castles and spaceships to a battery operated monorail and a space shuttle. I remember playing with that space shuttle and counting down, “T minus 3, 2, 1…BLAST OFF!” In fact, the first time I had enough self-control to save my money for a big purchase was for the ice planet base. I think it cost around $80, but I had never been so proud because I was able to purchase it on my own and it was one “cool” set (pun definitely intended ☺).
I enjoyed Legos for many years, but it all changed when I was around 6th grade or so (I’m not fully sure how old I was. I think deep down I must have blocked it out ☺). It was at that time that my mom let me know that there was a family who didn’t have enough as we did and she gave away my Legos to their kids. I was really sad. I knew I would never be able to find the instructions, pour out my Legos, and say “Let’s build something.” I understood that what my mom did was right and really generous. But at the time, I felt like it was forced generosity on my part. Perhaps it’s because even when we know giving to something bigger than ourselves is the right thing to do, it doesn’t always mean we feel good about it at the time.
I wonder how it would have affected me to go beyond focusing on how losing my Legos made me feel if I had been able to see the faces of the kids who received that gift from my mom. I imagine it would’ve been tough for a moment. But I also imagine seeing how generosity (even if forced at the time) impacted someone else would’ve helped me to see the “why” of being generous. Building a Lego set would’ve lasted for a few days. Building into people who are struggling or in need would last for much, much longer. It may have been tough, but it was worth it.
At ONE&ALL, we have the value of Generosity because we recognize that we are spiritual contributors, not consumers. The church doesn’t exist for us but we are the church and we exist for the world. For many of us, we may view our stuff as I did with my ice planet. I was merely a consumer. I saved up money for it and it should have been mine. I wasn’t ready to be a contributor to someone in need. For others of us, we don’t live lives of generosity because it feels forced. If that’s you, may you learn as I did that generosity (even if forced at the time) can impact someone else for eternity. For all of us, may we remember that by being generous, we are building into people across this valley and beyond who don’t only need our stuff; they need Jesus. He is the “why” of being generous because He gave all of Himself so we could be impacted for eternity. We are most like God when we are generous. Together, let’s listen to God’s instructions, pour out our lives to Him, and say “Let’s build something.” It may be tough, but it will be worth it. Because there are countless lives who need Jesus and the countdown for the generosity of God’s people to be a city on a hill that can’t be hidden is on. Are you ready? T minus 3, 2, 1…BLAST OFF!
Throughout the week:
This weekend, Pastor Jeff concluded our “We Are Generous” series by showing the “why” of being generous. He reminded us that we are God’s ambassadors. We are not elected by people. We are called of God.
- Read 2 Corinthians 5:18-20. What does it mean that God is “making his appeal through us”? Who did God use to make His appeal to you when you first came into relationship with Him?
- How does generosity help us to be ambassadors to those far from God?
- Would you currently consider yourself to be a consumer or a contributor? What is one tangible step you can take to increase in being a contributor both inside and outside the church?