If you have ever watched the movie, “Finding Nemo,” maybe, like me, one of your favorite scenes was with all the sea gulls. They are all hungry in their quest for food. Anything is fair game, and they will fight each other over every little scrap they can get. All the while, they say just one word, “Mine.” As more gather together, the word gets repeated more frequently and loudly – mine…. Mine… MINE.. MINE. MINE MINE!
What makes the scene so humorous for me is having been to the ocean, having seen sea gulls clamoring for food, and realizing that their calls do almost sound like they are literally calling, “Mine.” With that picture in mind, do you see how often, like the sea gulls, we want what’s mine. I really want you to consider this question – What is mine?
Many have the attitude, “What’s mine is mine, and I’ll keep it.” Most people would agree with that sentiment. After all, I wanted it, I worked for it, I paid for it (or am paying for it – credit), and I am keeping it. We are willing to defend and protect our stuff, and add to it as we can.
The problem we face is that there are those who have a different idea. Their thought, so contrary is, “What’s yours is mine, and I’ll take it.” Haven’t they heard the 7th Commandment, “Thou shalt not steal”? However, when we honestly look at our lives, we even can see this attitude creep up in us. As toddlers we take other children’s toys. As adults we not only want to keep up with the Joneses, but would like to get theirs as we covet (9th & 10th Commandments) what belongs to others.
So, what really is mine? The best answer I can give stems from this attitude – “What’s mine is yours, and I’ll give it.” This starts with God. “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” (Psalm 24:1) “The silver is mine and the gold is mine, declares the Lord Almighty.” (Haggai 2:8) God created all (it truly is His) and He placed it into our hands to use and manage and care for it.
An attitude of sharing recognizes that whatever possessions we have, they are the Lord’s and are on ‘loan’ to us for this earthly life. We also know God has given His Son, that by His death and resurrection we have eternal life. Knowing we have our eternal needs taken care of, and trusting God will (in His way) provide for our physical needs, we can also have that very same generous attitude. This is at heart of stewardship as we ‘give back’ to Lord a portion of what He has loaned us so that we can financially support the ministry God has given to us.
This month you will be asked to make a pledge (read further in the Messenger) especially of your financial support of our ministry. Keep in mind all that our offerings do. A major portion is for the salary and benefits of the staff who dedicate themselves to leading us in ministry. Some is for the literal nuts and bolts of the place – heating, cooling, maintenance – so we have a place to gather for worship, educate children, and be prepared for our daily lives of faith. Some goes to our District and Synod and missionaries so God’s Word is declared throughout the world.
What’s mine is yours, and I’ll give it. What blessings we have received because that is God’s attitude towards us. What blessings we will give as we have this same attitude and by faith put it into practice. May we each grow in that faith.
God’s >> Mine >> Yours