A Big Bag of Treats

Spiderman and Joy and their Treat Bags

Spiderman and Joy and their Treat Bags

I had so much fun on Halloween. I went trick-or-treating with “Spiderman,” “Joy,” a butterfly and a cute little guy that dressed like his grandfather. As we were walking along, my granddaughter aka “Joy” said, “Check this out. I have a lot of stuff”. I looked, and she did have a lot of stuff.

I started discussing the blessings she had received. I talked about how kind the givers were. I reminded her that she had received so much in so fast and discussed how amazing that was. She agreed.

Then I suggested that she share her bounty with me when we get home, and she said, “No, it is mine.” Right at that moment, I realized how much she is like me. I had handed down my DNA to that beautiful girl. I had handed down the selfish gene.

People will often find me excited talking about the sack I have filled with grace, compassion, peace, love, protection, etc. I can’t wait to show it to everyone. Look what I have received. Look at all the good stuff I have been given. Check this out; I am truly blessed. I just showed up, and goodness was poured out on me. I didn’t deserve it. It was freely given. Someone else’s generosity has made me rich!

But often when I am asked to share a little of the compassion I have received, I decline. Someone will look at my bulging sack and say, “Can you give me a small bit of forgiveness.” Instead of remembering that it was freely given and undeserved, I see my bulging sack and say, “No, it is mine.”

God’s plan is different. Jesus sent his disciples out as witnesses, and he commanded them “Freely you have received; freely give.” (Matthew 10:8, NIV) We are reminded in 2 Corinthians 1:4, “who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” And who can forget the words in the Lord’s Prayer, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12, NIV)

Jesus knew we would have a tendency to gather good things to ourselves and then be stingy. So he provides these reminders and then the Spirit moves our souls, so we will share the goodness that has been freely bestowed on us. My hope today is to remember that I have a great treasure that was freely given when I didn’t deserve it, and I have plenty to share.

By the way, if you were wondering, my granddaughter did share when we got home!

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