the flow

Back in the day, I wrote a couple posts on the subject of what it means to be used by God. At first, I had thought that the terminology implied something impersonal and detached, but after some more thought [and with the help of some wisdome from Jason Locke, I concluded that I had allowed some past experiences to define that term for me and had lost a sense of its meaning in terms of my relationship with God.

The absolute insufficiency of human beings reveals the complete sufficiency of God. He shapes us, refines us, transforms us into the people that He wants us to be, leading to an increased desire in our hearts to serve Him by serving others. He desires a willing, submissive heart, ready to be directed to where He wants us to be.

All this to say that I have been reading the book Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture stripped of Grace by Miroslav Volf and he kind of hit on this very topic in the first chapter. [First of all, let me just say Volf is a tremendous writer, probably the closest to C.S. Lewis that I have read. I just picked this book up for a few bucks and thought it was interesting, but wow … this is a good book.] He is talking about about the receiving of gifts from God, and how, since we are unable to do anything to return a gift back to Him, we are meant to allow God’s good gifts to flow through us onto our neighbor. We are channels of God’s gift giving and show our gratitude by sharing God’s goodness with others. Here is a great quote from Volf:

Since God creates the self to be indwelled by Christ, that self will be fulfilled only if it draws the living water from the well-spring of love’s infinity and passes it on to its neighbors. The paradox of true love is exactly the opposite of the paradox of self-love. When loving truly, the self moves outside of itself to dwell with God and neighbor, and only then is it truly home. When this happens, we have crossed over from self-centredness to genuine and fulfilling generosity.

We must allow the flow of God’s goodness to pass through us to our neighbor; that is our calling as followers of Christ. It’s not a matter of being used by God, but we ourselves taking what God has done in and for us to demonstrate His love to others. To bemoan the terminology misses the point. It’s not about me or you; it’s all about the Kingdom of God and being ambassadors of that Kingdom in the world around us.

I am taking my time with this book. It’s not one to be flipped through. Check it out if you have a chance.

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