Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘covetousness’

Hijack Victim Branded Fool

“Three hijack car left idling” the headline blared from the street pole it had been staked to as I drove past.

“Idiot,” I thought. “Who leaves their car with the keys in the ignition – idling? For heaven’s sake! Did he want it to get stolen. Everyone knows that’s just asking for it.”

As the sentence finished vomiting its bile into my brain, I stopped myself. What was I thinking? I meant the question quite literally. Sure someone’s property is their property. Surely if something is not mine, then it isn’t mine. I won’t touch it. I won’t use it. I won’t break it. I won’t take it. Because it isn’t mine.

I think this is what the Bible means when it tells us not to covet. It’s not about looking at Sandra-from-accounting’s shoes and thinking, “Gosh – those are awesome! I’m getting me a pair of Jimmy Choos!” (Okay, All Stars. Okay, fine. Tommies. Whatever. This is a no-judgment zone, remember?)

Coveting is when we want something that belongs to someone else. And we want it so badly, we’d take it – maybe even hurting someone in the process.

That’s just not okay. No thing of yours – not your stuff, and not your body – belongs to me. And vice versa. I may like something of yours. And that’s fine. As long as that desire leads to positive action, such as working to earn it, saving up to buy it, or getting counselling to get over it.

But what you have is yours, and what I have is mine. And no matter what I do with anything of mine, or what you do with anything of yours, no one else has the right to do anything with it at all.

When we blame the victim of the crime for basically allowing the crime – either by their choices or their actions – we are losing site of the fact that it was a crime. No matter the circumstances, no one has a right to perpetrate a crime against anyone else, and blaming the victim creates the culture that breeds these criminals. It amounts to us saying to them, “Don’t steal from (kill/rape/etc) – oh wait, except for that person. Yeah, they’re totally asking for it. Go wild.”

One day, any of us could make any one of those judgment errors, and I’m pretty sure not one of us would then be okay with someone doing any of those things. No matter where we parked. Or what we did with the car keys. Or what clothes we happened to be wearing.

 

blaming-victims-of-crimes-for-those-crimes-makes-all-of-us-vulnerable-to-crime

Lesson #18: The Blessing Dare

Talk about your joys!It’s been so long since I posted! We went away to a remote farm in the middle of nowhere and the logistics of that trip have taken every spare ounce of thought processing power. I’ll dedicate a post to that some time soon, but this is more important.

Over the past few weeks I have been struck more and more by the idea of giving back in real, tangible ways that make an impact on the lives of those we know and love. As I so often find when our Lord is at work, this message has been coming at me from many angles and this past weekend was something of a melting pot in which everything arrived, boiled together and bubbled over into an Idea.

You see, before we moved seven years ago, we had Things. Steady jobs (with great salaries that we really did not appreciate). Cars (plural!). A house (which we owned). Friends, family, plans and all the rest. We gave a fixed monthly stipend to the Church but it certainly wouldn’t qualify as any kind of tithe. It wasn’t much more than a tithe of a tithe, in truth.

And we gave back.

Need new tyres for your car? Here we are. A place to stay? No problem. Food? Clothes? A home for your pets? Baby sitters? Money for movies? A lift to the movies? A night out? A lift home because your car broke down? A tow for your broken car? Fixing your broken car? Sure thing. We loved to give back and it was wonderful to be able to contribute to the lives of our friends and families in this real, tangible way. We never, ever even considered that this was a season in our lives, a time of blessing and learning and personal growth. In fact, we assumed that we were good, kind, generous, hard working and talented individuals who deserved what we had and would thus always have it.

Ha ha ha ha …

The past seven years have been sobering, to say the least. Having lost nearly everything we now mostly find ourselves on the flip side of that equation. Let me tell you about it: it sucks. You’d think it would be great to have people helping you out along the way, meeting your needs, caring for you. It is, and we appreciate it. But always being on the receiving end? Not so much of fun. We’re ill-equipped and we don’t enjoy it. Our pride has taken a serious knock and daily we have to learn a new lesson about faith in God’s provision. If we don’t have it, we don’t need it. Simple. It doesn’t matter what anyone says or thinks – not the banks, creditors, empty fridge … God said He’s meet our needs. He never lies nor breaks promises. Therefore, what we have is what we need.

I’ve started to notice a subtle mind shift in myself which is so insidious it’s almost diabolical. It cam disguised as a package deal of Faith + Humility. What it is, however, is greed and covetousness. Not only graciously accepting the gifts we’re given so many times by those around us, but actually looking for gifts, expecting help, support and more from those around us. Certainly, that attitude cannot honour God.

And so I’ve decided to start giving back. I’m looking for creative ways to outgive those who give to me. I am time-strapped and cash-strapped and sometimes stress and sleep-deprivation make me creativity-strapped too. But I’m praying for the ability to spot needs and to think of creative solutions to those needs that I can be a conduit of in some way – even if only in prayer (which is, after all, our most powerful asset).

I’ve challenged the ladies in our Church to join me in this blessing dare: let’s each try to outgive each other (and everyone else) this week! I even wrote the words:

“Who can I bless today, and how?”

on a piece of paper and stuck it to the ceiling above my bed, so that it’s the first thing I see each morning when I wake up, the last each night when I go to bed.

There’s more to this – so much more – but for now I challenge you to join me in the Blessing Dare: who can you bless today, and how?

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