We are meant to be spent for the benefit of others.
Everything we have. Our personality, our home, our money, our job, our relationships, our investments, our strengths, our old clothes, our vehicles, our spare change, our tithes, our time, our weekends, our mornings, our vacations, our everything. Everything we can possibly call our own, is best used when it is used in a way that cares for those in need or is building up our lifestyle of serving or community.
God has not only asked us to serve others. He created us for it. He created us to live in collaborative community with Him and others. He designed our lives in a way where we need others. We need others help and we need His help.
This does not mean we cannot have a fun, satisfaction or meaningful life but it does mean the most fun, satisfying and meaningful life we can live will be the life that is spent building others up and building God’s kingdom all around us.
In scripture Jesus mentioned the two most important commandments…love God and love people. Realizing we were made to serve others in need does not discount the primary commandment to love God but simply becomes and expression of it. We cannot serve and love others the way they deserve without God and it is impossible to be consumed by God and not love and serve others.
David MacLean and his wife decided a few years ago that if they could teach their children one thing, teaching them this message would be it. But how do you effectively teach your kids their life is meant to be spent on others…despite every message their culture is teaching them?
David and his wife took their two young boys out of school for two years to go on an educational adventure around the world. The plan was that over 2 years, they would visit over 200 destinations in 7 countries on 24 trips. I don’t want to tell too much of the story because David tells it much better in the TEDx video below but what I do want to tell you is some of the things that are not in the video.
When considering what David wanted his kids to learn and take away from this adventure, he told me he wanted his kids to understand these six mandates:
1. How big God is
2. How big the world is
3. Show them different cultures and languages so they could respect people of all backgrounds
4. Show them the wonder of God’s creation
5. Show them the church around the world and what God’s people were up to
6. Expose and engage them with need around the world so they would see their privileged and that with privilege there is a responsibility.
When I talked with David a few months back he was very clear this journey looks different for every person and the what they did is not the way everyone should. The goal is spending ourselves on those in need with what we have. The MacLean’s felt led to not simply do something extravagant to inspire their children, but something which would create a story to inspire people all around the world. And here I sit, inspired, challenged and convicted not to do what they did, but to see the way they saw.
Take a peek at David’s TEDx talk. Why not take 16 minutes to be inspired for a lifetime?