“You guys are all into that born again thing, which is great. We do need to be born again, since Jesus said that to a guy named Nicodemus. But if you tell me I have to be born again to enter the kingdom of God, I can tell you that you have to sell everything you have and give it to the poor, because Jesus said that to one guy too… [and he paused in the awkward silence.] But I guess that’s why God invented highlighters, so we can highlight the parts we like and ignore the rest.”
Rich Mullins, in a concert at Wheaton College
There are a lot of things God tells us to do throughout the Bible, and Jesus said that if we love God, we’ll obey His commands. And He made it really simple for us to understand, too: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, your mind, and your strength, and Love your neighbor as yourself.
We remember to love God, but most of us forget about loving our neighbors.
I can’t write that I’m the most loving person in the world, because I’m not. Each day is a struggle for me to love the people I don’t agree with, the people who hurt me or my friends or family, or even those friends and family who just piss me off.
But love isn’t about how we feel towards other people; instead, love is about how we act towards others. 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 says:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
How we feel towards others is fleeting, but God expects us to act lovingly, be being patient, kind, humble, selfless, etc.
At the heart of stewardship is love. If you are like most churchgoers, you think of stewardship only in financial terms. While that is a part of stewardship, there are three other forms of stewardship as I see it: time, environment, and spiritual gifts. And at the heart of all these types of stewardship is loving God and loving our neighbor. If we love God, we will love the people He has created, and keep the commandments he has given (tithe, allowing ourselves and our neighbors a day of rest, taking care of the earth He created, and using our gifts in service to others).
What you’ll read about in the blog is my journey as a steward, but especially as it relates to the environment. Please enter the journey with me.