What I’m Reading Today: Acts 20:17-38
What an amazing passage to read on my first day back to my blog after ten days’ vacation. I say that because the text includes Paul’s parting words to a faith community. Those words capture many of the sentiments I felt as I was leaving the area in which I was born and raised.
There are many directions I could take today’s entry based on the experiences that I had during my vacation. I’ll be disciplined, however, and choose just one. That direction comes out of Acts 20:35. Here’s the story that made the verse jump out at me.
During my vacation, I had the chance to catch up with a friend who was having problem with her youngest child. The child – in his early twenties – had developed a drug and alcohol problem and had spent the last few years bouncing around between jail, the streets, and treatment centers. My friend was struggling to deal with the reality because her family was a relatively well-to-do family who had provided themselves on giving their kids everything they wanted growing up. “What did we do wrong?” she wondered at one point in the conversation.
That something was pretty obvious to me – they had raised their children to be entirely self-centered human beings. In the time that I knew them, for instance, not once did I know the children to do anything to give back to the community. They simply focused on meeting their own wants and needs. Needless to say, it didn’t shock me that at least one of her children had serious challenges in life.
“You’re far happier,” Paul quotes Jesus as saying in today’s passage, “giving than getting.”
That simple but profound truth goes against virtually everything our culture teaches – and yet I believe it’s a truth that can provide a solid compass to direct one’s life.
As you go about your day today, I would encourage you to find time and reflect on the balance in your life between the “giving” and the “getting”. If you find the balance is out of whack, remember it’s never too late to work on bringing the two back in balance.
Til next time…