“And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you [abundantly],
and make your name great (exalted, distinguished);
And you shall be a blessing [a source of great good to others];”
Genesis 12:2 Amplified Bible
What’s not to like about the first part of God’s declaration over Abraham. Who isn’t interested in getting an abundant blessing … having a great name, being exalted and being considered by your peers as ‘distinguished!’
The second part of that verse, well – we’re not so sure about that. Chalk it up to ignorance, ambivalence or possibly a bit too much narcissism to see past the part about ourselves. Moving from ‘me’ to ‘others’ is a tough journey for some to take.
But God challenges us to make that trip. He knows that it’s never supposed to be all about us. A pastor recently made this clear through a powerful illustration.
He told of a father who had given his son a party-sized bag of M&M Peanuts. To get us into his illustration the pastor held a giant bag of the candy, opened it, smelled its contents and then ate a piece of it.
We were riveted.
In his fictitious story the son consumed not just a little, nor a modest amount … but the entire contents of the bag. What came next was expected. He became violently sick and gave the gift back kneeling over the toilet. Then he got made at his dad.
His father was to blame for giving him such a huge bag of candy – enough to make him sick. “But son,” the father said, “it was never my intention for you to eat the entire bag. I wanted you to enjoy it and then get the further joy of sharing it with your friends.”
The gifts of God in our lives take many forms. We have family, friends, finances and a stellar future. His purpose isn’t just to make us feel secure, proud, distinguished or exalted … He has given us enough to satisfy our needs and many of our wants as well. But He wants these blessings passed along to others.
Your surplus not only proves that God cares for you, but when shared could convince someone else that God is thinking about them as well. A gift from your abundance may be ‘just enough’ to get someone through a difficult time in their life and turn their attention to a very attentive God.
We are not to feel guilty about his good care of our lives unless we’re hoarding, but He does expect us to look for ways of spreading his love to others.
“And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.” Hebrews 13:16 NLT