Property rights are a cornerstone in civilized society. Fights over the dividing line has cost long-term friends, families, and even countries their relationships. One could easily believe that two adults should be able to settle the dispute however this is rarely the case.
I have a neighbor with a fence that he knows is inside the legal parameters of his home. The slight isn’t new; the developers made the mistake at the very beginning and now several years one it has remained as it originally was. I wonder if things will ever be cleared up. There is a possibility that the new next door neighbors do not even know about the mistake. Their starting points are different, perhaps ignorance will continue on for some time. I wonder quietly with every glance their way. The thought that continues is one of wonder; do I live with a starting point that is equally na?ve and just plain wrong?
There is a strong chance that you and I carry beliefs that are very different from God’s. One is similar to the line that runs between the two properties. What should we do with God’s gifts? Do we keep them, protecting them judiciously, or radically use them as they were intended? Are there examples that give us clear directions?
It is easy to believe that our starting point, natural and intuitive is correct. Conserve, preserve, and be a steward. We are challenged to manage scarce resources, protecting that which cannot muster defenses. How many premises are buried in the last two sentences that are wrong when it comes to God?
John’s words play out, haunting me in my arrogance. “The Father loves the Son extravagantly. He turned everything over to him so he could give it away—a lavish distribution of gifts.” (John 3.35)
Fresh start, new point of departure! It is our job to give away compassion, mercy, and love. It is our responsibility to confront those who exploit, abuse, and distribute pain. We can always be giving; we have an unlimited supply. I like this starting point!