Over the past nine years that my wife and I have been married we've moved approximately 12 times. To say that I hate moving would be an incredible understatement.
On the bright side, we've learned to purge some of our possessions each time we move so that we're not hoarding things between each move. However, if you ask my wife, she'd probably still identify me as a hoarder...and she'd probably be right.
There are simply some things I just can't bring myself to let go of. I don't necessarily use them...or need them...but there's some deep rooted attachment to it for some reason that makes it difficult or even painful to think about letting go of. In short, the struggle is real.
So, this reality brings me to the point of this post: as often as I hoard physical possessions I also find myself being a hoarder of spiritual truths as well.
I came across this conviction recently while studying the book of Acts and 1 John 1.
In Acts, we see a passionate community of believers who are constantly sharing the gospel and boldly proclaiming how their lives were changed because of the risen Christ. They were eye-witnesses who couldn't help but speak of the things they were learning, seeing, and experiencing first hand. (Acts 1:8, 2:40, 4:12, 4:20, 5:29-32, 5:42). I don't think anyone could read the book of Acts and come away with the idea that the early Church was hoarding the good news of Jesus to themselves. Yet, how often does this look like my life? How often does this look like the American Church?
In 1 John 1, we read about the apostle John's perspective on encountering the living Christ while He walked this earth and being a witness of His resurrection. He makes reference to being an eye-witness that has heard, seen, and touched Jesus, thus making a pretty definitive stance that Jesus is not only a historically valid figure but that His life changed others' lives and that life change demands proclamation. In 1 John 1:5 he writes that the message they (the early Church) heard was also proclaimed. When I read that it hit me: how often to do I hear something from the Lord, or learn something about Him, and simply keep that truth to myself?
Obviously, there are moments when God speaks to us and that word is just for us. But many times we learn from Him in order to pass along that wisdom to others (2 Timothy 2:1-2). But let's be honest: I often love learning for my sake more than I love learning for the sake of others.
This is tragic because it is so fundamentally opposed the very nature and essence of Christianity. From the very beginning of the story, God has always been about His people taking His message of redemption to the ends of the earth by multiplying disciples.
At the end of the day if we really believe that the good news of the gospel is the greatest message a human could ever hear, than our lives must reflect an urgent intentionality to share it with those who have never heard (Romans 10:13-15).
The timeless principle: Christians should be an intentional conduit of the truth, love and grace of Jesus rather than a hoarder of spiritual truths.
It is my hope and prayer to actively look for ways to give away what I know for the benefit and edification of others. I see the gospel in this approach, because I did nothing to deserve God's mercy and favor, yet through the finished work of Christ I've been given all things! Freely I've been given life, hope, truth, purpose, etc....and therefore I seek to freely give to others, all to the glory of God!
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
- Have you ever thought about this tension?
- Are you a hoarder or a conduit?
- What ways have you found to guard against becoming a hoarder of spiritual truths?
- If you believe the gospel is still good news, who do you know that needs to see the gospel declared and demonstrated this week? Are you willing to do something about it?