St. Andrew's UMC
Thursday, October 23, 2014
A Friendly, Caring Church
Growing in Grace
I was 14 years old and babysitting semi-regularly for a family down the street as my primary way of earning spending money. Since I only charged 75 cents and hour, it took a lot of babysitting to save enough even to go to the movies.
One day I was given the perfect babysitting gig: an opportunity to earn 5 whole dollars! Sadly, walking in home in the dark, I wasn’t paying attention and lost my crisp $5 bill.
I was heartbroken. But it was my dad’s actions the next day that shook me in a way I remember to this day; he offered sympathetic words, but did not offer to replace it. Imagine my surprise when I had to take responsibility for losing the money and live with the consequences!
Despite my father’s profound love for me, and probably because of it, he let me learn this important life-lesson. I could not expect to be given the easy way out just because he loved me.
It was equally shocking to discover that God expected me to take responsibility for my Spiritual “wealth,” as well. When I dropped the ball of intentional faith development, He would not rescue me with a deeper faith and a deeper, more meaningful life. If I wanted a more satisfying relationship with Jesus Christ and a more loving, tolerant, and forgiving attitude towards others, and myself, I had to assume responsibility for my actions and choices.
If I am honest, I have to admit that I assumed God’s great love for me meant that He would grant me the perks and benefits of a deep commitment without actually having to invest myself in making one!
Like my dad, however, God has always let me experience the consequences of my own actions and inactions—even ones that happened simply because I chose not to pay attention. At the end of the day, a purposeful life in Christ requires something of me—something for which I alone am responsible.
Growing in faith and finding meaning in life is a process that I am responsible for taking.
Sacrificing for the work of God’s Kingdom and giving my time, energy, prayer, study, thought, service, and tithe (10%), help me become more connected to Jesus Christ in ways that I cannot explain.
I pray daily for the courage and desire to grow in the grace of giving myself in service to Jesus Christ.
The responsibility is all mine. And the rewards are WAY BETTER than going to the movies!