This is my Pastor’s Ponderings from the April Messenger.
I want to comment and expand on something that Ananias wrote in his article this month.
He really is learning a lot from this book. I’m hoping that since he realizes all of his toys belong to me, maybe he won’t chew through them so quickly.
As Ananias, and the author of Ask, Thank, Tell, Chick Lane, has pointed out, the gifts and blessings we have come from God. While they are ours to use, they are still God’s. God has given them to us to use, but they are not ours.
Nor is anything. Everything comes from God and everything belongs to God. We are just given the responsibility to use them.
This is a challenge for us as people, and especially as Americans. We like to think that we are self-made, that we have what we have because of hard work. To a degree that is true. We see that our hard work and extra effort allow us to do better and provide more things for our loved ones.
But the abilities we have, even that motivation and drive, come from God, and belong to God and not to us. Everything comes from God, and everything belongs to God. We are just stewards and managers of our time and talents. We are accountable for how we have used them, just as a manager is responsible to the owner for how they used the resources they were entrusted with.
That is a difficult idea to process. But when you come to that realization, your perspective on EVERYTHING changes.
As an only child, I’ve struggled with this understanding because I grew up thinking everything was mine, mine, MINE!
If everything, 100% of all we have, belongs to God, then what we do with what we have has to change.
If you’ve ever had a tough, demanding boss, you know that you have to be able to account for everything you did, and every resource you had access to. That can be very stressful.
We are accountable to God for how we have used the gifts, talents and abilities given to us by God. Have we used them to do what God would have wanted us to do? Have we used them to take care of the least, the last, the lost, the little ones and those who are alone? Have we used them to give thanks and praise to God? Or have we used them for our own self-interest? Have we misused and abused them?
Fortunately, the One to whom we are is loving and filled with grace, so our performance review will not be painful, beyond our regrets for missed opportunities and not meeting our potential.
The other challenging point raised in this chapter is why have I been so blessed? There are so many others who have less than we have, are we using what God has given us in a way that honors the gift, and the gift giver?
May you always feel surrounded by God’s love,
Pastor Brian's Page
Pastor Brian Robert Campbell has served at Our Savior's and Emmanuel since August 1, 2011, and began serving Nazareth on December 1, 2015.
Pastor Brian is originally from Saginaw, Michigan. He graduated from Alma College with a B.A. in Business Administration, and worked for the Saginaw Public Schools' Community Education Department for 17 years before answering the call to ministry. He graduated with a M. Div. from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 2011. ONE in Christ Lutheran Parish is his first call.
He is the only child of Robert and Charlotte Campbell, both who have entered the Church Eternal.
He is accompanied in ministry by his faithful bulldogge Ananias, who regularly writes for our newsletter. His articles are archived here.
He is a fan of sports teams from his native Michigan, especially the Tigers and the Lions. But we tolerate him despite that.
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