Sunday, August 08, 2010

Investing in FAIL

Luke 12:33 "Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys."

This is not a call to sell everything you own. Nor is it a call to do good deeds, believing that whenever you hug a tree you get another or larger jewel in your crown or mansion in "heaven". This is a revelation of what it means that God's Kingdom is coming. To regularly practice detaching ourselves from temporary things, and attach ourselves to things of God's Kingdom.  To pay attention to where we are investing ourselves and our resources.

Also worthy of note, is that "heaven" wasn't a cloudy place with gold-paved streets somewhere "up there". What is being talked about here is the place where God's presence is. Where God reigns and rules. We are to center our lives (our "heart" a couple verses after this) and "invest" in the things of God.

How appropriate the literal translation of "ἀνέκλειπτος" is here. From "unfailing treasure", it literally means "without fail". In a culture where "fail" has become a noun, a quality that some thing of event can be "full of", we understand this word very well. Yet there are so many places in our lives where we are investing in things that fail.  God has something better in mind.

Relationships being built or maintained on foundations other than the eternal. Young men and women who desire the "romantic" always emotionally high version of Hollywood love. Myths of ambiguous things like "happiness" or "achieving success" as our main goals. Or to think that if we can get to a certain point financially, balance our social calendar just so, or get a house where we can hang out far enough apart...it will work out.  God has something better in mind.

Even as parents, who desire the best for our children, but so easily end up filling their toy chests and play areas with piles of things to distract them from the things in the other pile. You don't have to read too many parental magazines to realize the value/necessity of children to experience "boredom". Or the decisions by many parents to make "small sacrifices in presence" now, so that when they achieve financial freedom, or professional status, or whatever...they will be providing "enough" for their kids.  God has something better in mind.

In this chapter, Jesus is announcing a Kingdom that will not fail. That is eternal, foundational, and True. When we spend time centering our lives on Jesus Christ and the Kingdom He is ushering in, we will not be disappointed. When together with our spouses, children, and friends...we spend time on even the simplest involvement in Kingdom living...giving to the poor, loving the unloved, offering grace and forgiveness and life...it is beyond worthwhile. It is time and resources well invested, not simply because of the return we gain...in fact, by this world's standards much of it may seem quite silly...but because of the eternal Truth we become involved in and transformed by. That is real, and lasting.  Anything else is full of FAIL. 

What will we invest in today?

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