Monday, January 26, 2009

Luke, chapter 19 part 1

Am I doing enough good in my life? This was a question I pondered deeply last night in the midst of another sleepless night. As God likes to do, He made sure it came up in my study of Scripture this morning. The first part of Luke 19 deals both with Zacchaeus the tax collector and the parable of the ten minas. In both, it is a case of having people to whom much was given, so much was expected of them in return.

I envy Zacchaeus. He knew instantly that he needed to see Jesus. Jesus then clearly delineated what He wanted of him. Unfortunately, while there are plenty of Sycamore trees to climb where I am, I lack having Jesus come by to talk directly to me. What stands out though is Zacchaeus’ willingness to serve immediately. He not only wanted to serve, but he was willing to give up all he had in order to serve. Do I have that kind of faith anymore?

That brings us to the parable of the ten minas. The central lesson in this parable is that not only are we responsible for what we do wrong, but we are responsible for what we fail to do right. Last night I was starring at the ceiling near 1am thinking of just this thing before I even read this passage this morning. In my current jobless state I feel like I am in a unique position. God is providing in ways other than traditional work. I may not go to some office in the morning, but He has found a way through massive amounts of coupons, the selling of ads on my other blog, and through my writing job that all my needs are cared for. That gives me the luxury of time each day.

I was questioning last night whether I can make better use of that time. I have been so focused on myself and what I can get out of everything that lately I have neglected my responsibility to other people. In that, I feel I have missed an opportunity to do good like the servant who was given just one mina. What is wrong with me volunteering my time for some place, maybe a day each week, even if I am not getting paid. Just down the street from us there is a women’s shelter that my wife and I both strongly believe in. We have donated items and money to them in the past. What is stopping me from giving them one day a week as a volunteer to help out around their office? Is there another place where I can do such a thing?

As I was struggling to sleep last night I was seriously considering how I could serve in this capacity of God can continue to provide without me having a traditional job. I have seen in recent days that it is possible for me to do work from home on various freelance projects and achieve the freedom that eludes me when I do have your traditional job. I can even make as much money if not more. My wife reminded me, however, that I would be missing the social interaction with other people. At first I didn’t think this was such a bad thing since I tend to be rather reclusive. Last night I was reminded, however, that social interaction isn’t a bad thing. I now know that if my professional life continues along this path of having me work from home that I probably should investigate giving my time as a volunteer. If not, I fear I will be missing a chance to do good, which as it says in James 4:17 is the same as sinning.

17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. - James 4:17

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