“She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you will always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me.” Mark 14:7
In this passage of Scripture, an unnamed woman anoints Jesus with the costly ointment called nard. Many of the people around him complain, finding this to be a waste of money. After all, couldn’t the nard have been sold and the money given to those in real need? Jesus rebukes them. Evidently a grand gesture is sometimes appropriate. Sometimes we’re called to give a gift simply to show our love for a particular person. A gift like this is pure grace.
It doesn’t need to be monetary — it might be the gift of forgiving a friend or relative for a great wrong; it might be giving time to take over a task that is burdening a neighbor; it might be an act of kindness to a complete stranger. The point is it’s good to sometimes give what’s unexpected, and even unnecessary. After all, doesn’t God give us gifts like this every day? Don’t we get not just the things we need, but things that make life beautiful, interesting and fun? God’s grace rains down on us, and we should spread that love and grace around!
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of Gods’ varied grace …” 1 Peter 4:10
What are some gifts of grace you’ve received? I’d love to hear those stories.
This month’s theme is one that is often ignored, because we really don’t want to talk about it. No, it’s not death, but close — stewardship: or as Beth Anne told me, taking care of God’s stuff. We don’t like to talk about it because down deep, we can’t bring ourselves to admit it’s God’s stuff. We fool ourselves into believing it’s ours. We have money because we got a good job and worked hard. We’re talented because we recognized an innate ability and developed it. And time! Don’t even go there! Surely any time we can carve out of our busy, productive life is our own. We’ve earned the right to some relaxation!
The Bible tells us this kind of thinking is dead wrong. We’re the managers, not the owners, of everything we have, even ourselves. God made the world, and God made us. He gives us our daily bread, and so much more. He expects us to use all these things wisely.
So this month I hope we’ll see lots of posts on our time, talent and treasure. What are we doing with them? Are we being good stewards? Are we multiplying them or squandering them? Are we using them to build up or tear down? Will we hear the words “good and faithful servant” the day we meet Jesus in eternity?
Of course, at times we may be led to go off topic and post what the Spirit has put on our heart. We are after all “free in Christ.” I look forward to this month together. Readers, don’t hang back. Use your ideas to encourage us. We want to hear from you.
I had to chuckle when I read Leslie’s post about the gift of gab ….that is so not my gift, although it’s one I admire and sometimes wish I had. I’m a quiet introvert, so I guess my gift is …. holding my tongue? …..listening? ….silence? What would be the opposite of gab?
My gift can get me in trouble, too. Sometimes I don’t speak up when I should. Sometimes people misperceive me as snobby or aloof or unfriendly. Sometimes I think of just the right words of sympathy or encouragement …just a little too late.
It’s easy to envy somebody else’s gift, but it’s a bad way to spend my time. Isn’t it better to give thanks for the wide variety of talents and personalities God has created? When we get together with someone who has different abilities than we do, great things happen. We complement each other. We balance things out. We can accomplish things together that we couldn’t do alone. God planned it that way.
“But, as it is, God arranged the members of the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were one member, where would be body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.” 1 Corinthians 12: 18-20