Saturday, January 30, 2010

Spiritual Cesspool

One of these days, I’m gonna learn to say no to my kids when they ask for a pet. So far, we’ve shared our home with a bird, guinea pigs, cats, a dog, and 2 gold fish. The kids always promise to feed and take care of the critters they bring home, but I’m often the one left doing most of the pet care.

The most recent addition to our pet family is an African Dwarf Frog named Ribbons. Everything I’ve read about caring for this type of pet tells me that their care is very simple. As long as we feed it every other day and change out the water in it’s tank every couple of weeks, it should be fine. However, knowing already the level of dedication my kids are likely to show to taking care of Ribbons, the water in his tank will be a lovely shade of green and stinking up the rest of the house before I finally give in and clean the tank and change the water.

This stagnant, smelly water reminds me of what happens to our insides when we regularly allow ourselves to be filled with the Holy Spirit, but never do anything to pour into others lives. There is a dangerous inclination among us, as Christians, to be great consumers of Christianity, but poor disciples of Christ. This leads to spiritual death. Yes, Jesus is Living Water, when we drink of him, we will never thirst again. (John 5) However, I don’t believe for a second that this means we are to keep those eternal springs bottled up.

In James 2: 14-17 the point is clearly made that we are to give as freely as we have received. It says, “14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Pouring into others is a sure-fire way to keep your faith alive. Ask God today to point out opportunities to give, places to serve and people to love.

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