My 2 year old daughter is the cutest thing ever. You may try to argue but you’ll lose. She’s a doll. As with most parents I often find myself being taught lessons by the things my kids do. I use stories about my kids in sermons all the time. It works, people understand the stories, find them cute, entertaining, and sometimes funny. These are my parables. My kids help me relate to the audience in a way almost all of them understand. It’s sermon gold. I intend to cash in on this gold for this blog post as well.
Pile of Toys
A few days ago I was sitting in the “daddy chair” (my recliner) watching SportsCenter or something when my daughter came in and said “daddy come, I show you, I show you.” I, of course, followed her into her room to see her standing over a small pile of some of her favorite toys. There were little dolls, littlest pet shop animals, and some figures from her Veggie Tales castle. They were all piled up on the floor. I just laughed at how proud she was to have all those toys right there in a big pile for everyone to see. She showed all of us, mommy and bubba had to be called in too so they could behold the glory. It was pretty funny, then I had one of those thoughts that was too smart to be my own. “WE DO THAT WITH OUR GIFTS AND ABILITIES ALL THE TIME.” I felt that nudge in my gut, you know the one, that I couldn’t ignore and I knew I’d remember that thought for a long while.
We do that with what we have all the time. We are constantly piling our toys up for people to see and calling everyone in closer so they can behold the glory that is what we have. Whether it’s stuff, gifts, talents, abilities, a position, or whatever it’s put on display instead of being used for something good. It hit me hard when I had this thought because I’m guilty. I’m guilty of showing people the gifts God has given me. I’ll walk people through our student center and show them our cool setup and awesome sound system or I’ll talk about how well I can bring peace to a situation through conversation. Yet, I’ve found that I talk about my gifts a lot more than I use them. It’s sad really.
All Good Things
James 1:17 tells us that all good things come from God. If you are good at something it’s because God made you that way. Your abilities were put inside you by God and they were put there for a reason. Too often we ignore that we were given what we’ve got. It doesn’t just stop with our talents either, think about your possessions. That really nice house you live in is large, it’s beautiful and has plenty of room but you wouldn’t dare open it up to a church small group or invite some of the students from your church over to hang out and watch the game? My Pastor always talks about how Americans’ homes are their castles, their sanctuary. That’s nice but it’s also your greatest gift to give to someone who needs to connect to your savior, your church, your ministry, or a family.
If we have a gift, it’s from God. He gave it to us to use for Him. If we aren’t using it for Him and we’re just piling it up like my daughter’s pile of toys, it’s being wasted. My little girl’s toys are neat and she loves to play with them. For some reason, though, she was in display mode that day. What a waste. She had toys from a couple of elaborate play sets that if played with correctly would encourage some amazing imagination and some real fun. She had some little stuffed animals that are cute and cuddly and perfect for bedtime or for sitting and cuddling while watching a movie or reading a story. These toys were all created for a purpose, to play with. Instead she was piling them up to display them to her family.
It’s cute when a two year old little girl shows off her toys. When a grown person, especially a follower of Christ, and extra especially a minister shows off what they have instead of using it to affect their world, it’s disgusting.
Give It Back
If it came from God, give it back to Him. How do we do that? Matthew 25:40 tells us that we give back to God when we’re there for those in need. When we help our family in Christ we’re giving back to Him the great things He’s given us.
Give it back to Him. Give Him your home, your finances, your gifts, your abilities. If you’re a minister give him your schedule and your programs. Give Him your facilities. Instead of showing off what you have and what you can do find ways to use those things to benefit your community and your church family. This will grow your church and your ministry because when God see’s you using what He’s given you to further His kingdom He will give you more.
Author: Michael Prince
Michael Prince co-authored “What’s in Your Pocket? A parent’s guide to protecting your children online.” with his wife Melinda. They have four kids and live in an RV anywhere in the USA they see the need for an internet safety expert. Michael is leading the conversation in the American Church about family online security. He and Melinda founded BecauseFamily, a ministry that exists to inspire and equip parents to be the first influence in the lives of their children, in 2013. Michael is also a geek and loves Star Wars, Doctor Who, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and strategy board games.