Dear Love INC Community,
This week I had the privilege of learning from a consultant who spends his time helping Christ-centered nonprofits to fund raise and operate in a way that grows their causes and the believers who support them.
We were discussing the incredible way God transforms us as we serve Christ when I asked him, “How do we keep the message of inviting others into serving with us from becoming about us?” That is, we all know that so often we are the ones who are blessed by serving. But sometimes we can turn serving others into an agenda for making ourselves feel good. And, this can easily turn into exploiting some of our most vulnerable neighbors while we pridefully boast about the way we take care of them.
Like so many sins this is just turning a good thing (serving others) into a bad thing (using others to serve our selves). As we were talking this wise consultant said, “Think of it this way. It’s called a Christian walk and the right foot is ‘giving’ and the left foot is ‘receiving’. If the right foot is the only one moving and the left foot is stuck—then we end up walking in a circle. If the left foot is the only one moving and the right foot is stuck, then we end up walking in a circle.” I responded, “That’s brilliant! What a beautiful illustration of how God works through us!”
As I rode home from this meeting, I couldn’t stop thinking about how God’s kingdom moves forward—one foot in front of the other. Left. Right. Left. Right. Giving. Receiving. Giving. Receiving.
So many things about the way of Jesus are held in tension and balance. We all have our blind spots and areas of error in our understanding of God’s call on our lives. Many of us who are committed to serving others can get out of balance with serving, serving and serving… until we burn out. Others of us may be perfectly happy to go to church each week to receive great teaching, receive great programs and receive great music until we forget we are also called to serve. Left. Right. Left. Right.
Being out of balance shows up in many ways. Some of us are really tired. Some of us are really bored. Some of us just wonder if the abundant life of Jesus really exists. At Love INC we see incredible impact on our community when we get the rhythm of giving and receiving in balance and in sequence—when we put one foot in front of the other knowing that the Lord goes before us, behind us and is beside us.
This is the wonderful space where we get the joy of walking along side others who are experiencing the abundant life Jesus promised. This is the wonderful space where we experience the joy of the abundant life Jesus promised.
Our scriptures have numerous references to walking with God. We do refer to our life with Jesus as a Christian walk. Jesus walked on water and spent most of the time in his ministry walking the roads of Judea with his followers—walking from town to town to preach the Good News that the kingdom had come.
My prayer this month is that those of us who might feel we are running in circles in response to the chaotic demands of modern life and the unending demands of poverty and need, will stop for a moment and reorient ourselves around putting one foot in front of the other. Walking in that beautiful rhythm of giving and receiving. And, as we do, I pray that we would fall into step with one another to love our neighbors in such a way that we live into the mission to transform lives and communities In the Name of Christ.