Thursday, March 8, 2012

It costs so little

There is so much we can do to build up the Body of Christ, the Church, and it takes so little effort, so little organization, so little cost.

The institutional church, when it wants to do a ‘good work’ or a ‘ministry’ or whatever it calls it, expends so much time, energy and even money just setting up for it. Yet, after all is said and done, and they’ve finished thanking and congratulating each other, what was really accomplished, really now, not just in appearance?

Sometimes a lot, yes, but often, precious little, and I do mean precious. Why? Because time, money and talent, as they call these three commodities, are ‘precious’ to those who actually think they own them.

The truth, however, is much different. We actually own nothing, not our time, not our talent, not even our money.

Mother Gavrilía Papayánni used to say, ‘There is nothing cheaper than money.’ I’ve often wondered what she meant by that, but I’m guessing she meant that giving money to causes (to make ourselves feel better) is the easiest and least costly way to ‘help’ others.

Back to the facts, we own none of these things. All that we have and all that we are is pure gift from above, from the Father, and so it’s really quite ridiculous to act as though we are doing anything extraordinary when we expend these on others rather than ourselves.

For example, the time it takes me to read scriptures aloud for myself or for others, that time is the Lord’s. That expense is to His account. It costs me nothing. Even if I forget myself, and fall into thinking that I own what’s in my pocketbook, still it costs so little to do so much for someone else, so why not just do it?

Sometimes it’s money, but usually it is simply a kind word, a sincere eye to eye look, a smile, even a silly joke or small talk to someone who, if not for you, would be locked in the prison of their own cares. It costs so little for us to liberate our neighbor from that, and sometimes, it even liberates us!

Let no debt remain outstanding,
except the continuing debt to love one another,
for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.
Romans 13:8 NIV

Μηδενι μηδεν οφειλετε
ει μη το αγαπαν αλληλους
ο γαρ αγαπων τον ετερον νομον πεπληρωκεν

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