Tonight I was reading the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan and if you haven’t read it, you should. The book isn’t packed with information to fill your brain with, but is full of meaningful truths to encourage you to fully love God who loves you with everything He has. One of the chapters is full of stories of people who have been willing to sacrifice their comfort, their money, even their lives showing their love for God and people. And here I am in my nice air conditioned apartment complaining about my life. Ouch. I turn on the news and I see stories of Christians being beheaded or patients struggling for their lives in West Africa and I didn’t have time to read my Bible this morning because I was running late for work. Yeah, my life is really rough.
Acts 2:42-47 are some of my favorite verses in the Bible. They say:
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
These Christians knew the sacrifice that Jesus had made and were willing and ready to make sacrifices of their own. When was the last time you went without something to provide for another? My answer is “too long”. We all have something that we can give up so that someone else can enjoy it. Maybe you’re like me and you don’t have a lot of money on your hands, but do you have time? How about volunteering at a homeless shelter or food pantry once or twice a month? Or having coffee with someone that feels overlooked by you? Do you have a lot of clothes? Go through your closet and give some away. How about shoes? We all have at least one pair that can be given to someone who has none. Do you have a skill that you can teach someone? Get creative: the possibilities are endless!
Personally, I love books I probably have over 150 books in my collection that I’ve been unwilling to give up. I want to promote literacy and the love of reading and learning, yet I haven’t wanted those desires to interfere with my own library, my own possessions because I like my stuff. Talk about selfish. To remedy this I’m going to start passing it on: once I read a book, I’m going to pray about it and then give it to someone. It might be a friend, co-worker, relative, or a stranger, but I’m going to pass it on so that others can experience and grow from it too. For example, if you haven’t read Crazy Love and would like to send me your address and I’ll mail it to you, provided that you promise to give it to someone else once you’ve finished reading it.
What will you do? What can you sacrifice for another to thrive?