My wife and I recently enjoyed a wonderful European vacation together with no kids.
Yes. No kids. Notice how I used the adjective ‘wonderful,’ to describe it?
We missed them a lot, but it was fun to be away for a little while.
We visited two incredibly beautiful and historic cities: Venice, Italy and Paris, France.
Wow. Gorgeous. Amazing.
What an experience.
In Venice we stayed in a VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner).
It was literally on a canal. I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t everything on a canal in Venice?
Technically yes, but this was right on one. Our living room windows were eye-level with the singing gondola dudes with the striped shirts and funny hats.
After quite literally getting lost in the streets of Venice for the first day and a half something weird started happening.
Stacey and I both started using similar language when it came to our little condo on the canal.
We started referring to it as ‘ours’ and ‘home.’
We’d say things like, “When we get back to our place we’ll change and go to dinner.”
Or, “I love the location of our condo.”
This of course was not the case at all, but we naturally had a need to claim it as our own.
I don’t think Stacey and I are different than most people when it comes to ownership.
I think it’s deep in our nature to possess.
As children our first arguments are often filled with the word, “Mine!”
Sharing doesn’t come naturally to us humans. We want to possess and keep things for ourselves.
Many of today’s biggest global tensions are all about which people group a particular piece of land belongs to.
Consumerism is all about acquiring more stuff because you need it want it and deserve it.
I’m glad God recognized our need to own things and gave us his nature to claim as our own.
My salvation, forgiveness and capacity to love others is all a product of his grace and goodness.
His finished work allows me access to God. His love compels me to love others. His forgiveness allows me to generously forgive.
His right standing before God makes me righteous.
According to scripture my best efforts “…are like soiled rags.” (Isaiah 64.6)
Jesus allows me to possess / own / utilize his great characteristics as my own.
God has given us himself, His Holy Spirit, to fill our hearts with love. (Romans 5.5)
I think Paul said it best when he wrote,
“It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2.20)
All I am. All that I have. Every blessing is from Him. He is my source and supply.
It’s tough to remember that. But remembering Jesus as my source allows generosity to flow.
If it’s all about me and what I have I get stingy.
If it’s about Him I can be generous with His never-ending supply.