Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so He went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. Luke 7:36
Jesus feasted while others starved. I know that may seem discomforting or even sacrilegious, but it is a truth that must be looked at.
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We know that Jesus is our ultimate example of compassion and love. So we know that His actions did not stem from indifference or disregard. Let’s see if we can unravel what is going on here.
Many people feast while others starve. Most of these people feast because they live a self-centered life. They refuse to allow the needs of others to take them out of their comfort zone. They have trained their emotions to shut out the cries of the needy.
Others have awakened to human need. Something got their attention. It may have been the plight of 10-year-old Christian girls in Sudan who are sold as concubines by captors from the North. It may be the children who die because they lack an antibiotic injection that costs less than an American soft drink.
When we are awakened to need, we want like anything to shake other people out of their deep sleep of complacency.
But God chooses a different route. God calls us out of a guilt-driven, need-centered life just as surely as He calls us out of a complacent, self-centered life. He calls us to Himself—to a love-driven, God-centered life. Our lives are not measured, then, by our depth of sacrifice, but rather by our attachment to the Father. We can feast—even if our finances allow us only the feast of looking at a beautiful sunset, or listening to the song of birds. We can feast, drinking in and celebrating the love of God. And we can sacrifice, giving what we have to spread the love of God.
I suggest that Jesus lived a God-centered life. He met needs, and He left needs unmet. His attachment to the Father enabled Him to know when to give and when to receive. There is joy in both, and God designs for us to experience the full joy of giving and receiving. He also means for us to experience the freedom of letting Him be God. He will concern Himself with the needs He has not called us to meet.
PS. What role does the past play in your transformation? How do you overcome a painful past? Should you forget the past? Why doesn’t that work, and what can you do instead? How do you safely process painful memories? We’ll be addressing these questions for Inner Wealth subscribers starting 4/6/2019.