As a kid, I always looked forward to visiting my cousins in Northern Minnesota. One of the chief reasons was that they had a toy collection any kid would envy. They had closet after closet filled to the brim with every sort of toy: Legos, action figures, dolls, games, puzzles, etc. If a toy company made it, they probably owned it. I loved going through and seeing all of the amazing toys they had. However, I also got very frustrated. See, virtually all the toys my cousins (young adults at this point) owned were for the purpose of collecting. Most were in the original boxes and in pristine condition. As fun as it was to look at everything, it drove me crazy that I actually couldn’t play with anything. In my young brain, it seemed ridiculous to own all the coolest toys in the world yet to never use them for their intended purpose: to play and have fun.
I fear we do a similar thing in our lives with all the blessings God has bestowed upon us. We so often fail to share our time, our material treasures, our talents and abilities, and our love for God. We even tend to keep the greatest blessing of all, the good news of Jesus Christ, in a box in the back of our proverbial closet. In keeping all of these blessings for ourselves we misunderstand part of the reason why God has blessed us. Yes, God desires us to have a blessed life and to enjoy every blessing he bestows, but he also desires us to share our blessings with others. Jesus’ interaction with the Rich Young Ruler in Luke 18 is a prime example of this.
“One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Luke 18:22-25
We are quick to understand the word “rich” here solely in terms of money. I would, however, argue that Jesus is talking about more than our financial resources. He is challenging all of us who have been blessed, whether that be in terms of health, financial wealth, time, knowledge, love, salvation, etc. to share those blessings with others. We all need to take inventory of abundance of ways God has blessed our lives. After doing so, we should reflect on how we can share those blessings with others. What blessings are we hoarding away in the closet that God desires us to be sharing with others in need? I pray that we may all be a blessing to others throughout our lives be sharing of the abundance of love and grace God has blessed us with.