“John answered, ‘The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.’ Tax collectors also came to be baptized, ‘Teacher,’ they asked, ‘what should we do?’ ‘Don’t collect any more than you are required to,’ he told them. Then some soldiers asked him, ‘And what should we do?’ He replied, ‘Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely – be content with your pay.” – Luke 3:11-14
John’s message out in the desert back then, is still very much applicable to our lives right now. The meat of his message is to:
(1) Share what we have with those who need it
(2) Whatever our job is, do it well and with fairness, and
(3) Be content with what we are earning
(*three points from NIV Study Bible footnotes)
The new command that Jesus gave to us is to love God and to love people. Interestingly enough, if we are loving God and loving people, our natural inclination will be to share what we have with those who have none, we will want to work as if we are working directly for our Father in heaven (because ultimately we are), and in Him, we learn to be content in all things.
These verses inspire me to further purge my home and closet of excess, and to give away what is no longer needed nor worn. Professionally, I am both challenged and inspired to continue setting new goals for myself and my students, with frequent check-ins to determine both our short and long-term direction. As far as earnings go, our bills get paid, our vehicles run, and there is always food to place on the table – I know that I am abundantly blessed.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your message is clear – that we are meant to love You and love each other. If we are doing just that, we will be content in our circumstances, we will do our best, live generously, and love lavishly. You, who sent Your only Son to lay down His life so that we might live, have shown us again and again and again, what love really means. Forgive us for not always keeping our eyes open to the needs of those around us, and teach us how to live, love, work, share and simply settle into a life of loving like You. You lead, and we will follow in faith. May many find faith in You through the kindness and obedience of the faithful. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present