Relationships Matter Most
So this weekend was quite a whirlwind, but after a long night working late Friday, I got up and took the kids out Saturday to spent the day together with just them and I. Yes, we left momma bear home to rest as I was sensing my wife needed a break/day-of-rest after a tough week. We were gonna do the playground thing but it was kinda rainy, so we did the mall walking thing and also dropped by the Restoration Hardware that just opened in Nashville, TN. And we all had a blast and were wore out afterward. Mission accomplished.
Also, this Sunday I was given the opportunity to preach a sermon at my church (click here to listen). Now, I want you to image the "dos equis" guy and hear me when I say "I don't always preach, but when I do there is always spiritual-warfare around the same time." You may laugh, but it's almost certain that everytime I'm called on to share that there will be some sort of challenge or spiritual attack that will either precede it or follow it (it's like there's a devil on the loose or something). And despite knowing that these challenges arise ironically around times I'm called on to share, I usually try to press on and give what I have been given.
And it is always reassuring to hear the great feedback from others on how they were touched by these simple truths I’ve been given and hold tightly. And what I shared this past Sunday is something that has been very close to my heart for quite some time. Honestly, I wouldn't recommend this, but I did not even do much traditional preparing and study as I would normally do before I share. I did, however, spend some time in prayer to sense whether or not I was to share this or another portion of scripture that had also been on my heart. But what I shared is in reference to the "Parable of The Talents" given by Jesus recorded in Matthew 25:14-30.
Our view of God can ultimately effect how we treat others
Traditionally, the “talents” in the parable have been taught as if they are “gifting or abilities.” But as I have meditated on this over the years, that interpretation has never set well with me. It's as if we have been led to believe to only value our relationship with others based on their giftings and abilities–God forbid! Being that this is not an attitude I have observed in the Lord or in other places in scripture, I've had a problem with that interpretation for the longest. And then one day I was reading the passage and I sensed God open my understanding to see that the “talents” in the parable are not referring to “giftings or abilities,” but the real treasure in life is relationships that we have. This is what 'The Master' is going to have us give an account of–how we invested in the relationships with people He has entrusted to us (which is even more blatant in the passage that follows this parable). I won't preach the whole sermon in this post, but I will add the one thing I thought about mentioning from his parable that I didn't in the message: isn't it interesting that the one servant the Master called "wicked and lazy" seemed to not "invest in the relationship" the Master entrusted him due to a misconception on how they perceived The Master? It's interesting to me to note that our view of God can ultimately affect the way treat others and hinder us from investing in relationships–which is profound in this servants response to The Master.
Anyways, I enjoyed sharing at church, but I was so exhausted afterward that I came straight home and passed out on the couch! Yet it wasn't long until I was awakened by my children pouncing on me and my daughter had my phone in her hand. I didn't realize what she was doing with it at the time, but later I noticed my camera roll was filled with pictures she had snapped of me sleeping and a few selfies and one of her foot (I think she got the taking pictures of her feet from watching her mom do it hahaha).
Sure, I could be angry that she has totally violated my much-needed rest and also get mad at these pictures she has taken by sneaking my phone without my permission. Or I could just cherish these precious moments I have to invest in the relationship with these beautiful treasures God has entrusted me that I get to call my children (and remember that they watching me and will ultimately resonate the value I place on them and follow my example–scarry, I know).