Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Selfishness (02/14/05)
TITLE: THAR’S GOLD IN THEM THAR HILLS
By RENEE GREENE
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I became broke and devoid of those ‘friends’, but I learned a rich man’s lesson. Don’t give your children or relatives money and a free pass in life. There is no real appreciation for anything that can easily be taken for granted. I also know why the Lord allowed it: To teach me never to do it again. (Prov 3:11-12: “My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord, or loathe His reproof, for whom the Lord loves, He reproves; even as a father, the son in whom he delights.”) The Lord “reproves” me – shows me that I am not a lost cause and worth His taking the time to “prove” me out to be the person of honor and integrity that He has created me to be.
I know, on one hand, it seemed selfish to them that I no longer gave like I used to; on the other hand, therein lay a legacy for generations to come. Nothing in life worth having comes easily or is truly free. Salvation, while free to us, was not obtained easily and came at great price. It cost trickles, then drops, then a deluge of bloodletting on the part of Jesus Christ. He did not want to go through the torture of a mere man, but He knew He had to do what He had to do. He could have been selfish and said, “No way am I going through all that for these, the most pitiable human wretches of them all! Give ‘em some cake!,” but love, combined with character and integrity, makes for the finest miracles of all.
We do not owe any man anything but to love him and wish him well in life. However, SILC (Sincerity Integrity Love and Character – called “silk”) helps us go above and beyond just caring or feeling sorry for someone and catapults us into the realm of agape or Rhema love – beyond all we could ask, or do or are even capable of believing possible. It allows us to do even that which we feel we don’t have to do. In the grand scheme of things, we are all in this Big Birthday Bash called “Life” together, we may as well have fun on the way out.
The reason for this paradox? Don’t give, but give? There is a middle road – discretion and wisdom. The Book of Proverbs teaches us that there is a road in between knowledge and power and that road is to understand how to apply what is known so that it can yield forth power. For all the selfishness of the people around me, I learned that there was nothing wrong in the giving – it was the way in which I did it that caused the problem.
Herein is the giving and the sharing: “How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding. For its profit is better than the profits of silver, and its gain than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand, and in her left are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast.” – Proverbs 3:13-18.
Some have said, “If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day – if you teach him how to fish, he eats for the rest of his life.” To be truly unselfish – give the gift that keeps on giving. Give Christ. Therein is pure gold which can be panned and mined and dredged for a lifetime and even to eternity and beyond and never exhaust its supply.
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