…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14
For years I believed when people told me,
‘You either love God or you don’t.’
‘You are either committed or you aren’t‘,
‘Give God 100 percent’.
Sounds very spiritual, but the truth is there is no such thing as 100 per cent commitment.
I am a morning person, so I wake up with a fairly high commitment level – say 73 percent. Then I go to work, and my commitment level drops to 45 per cent; I get a pay rise and my commitment level shoots up to 92 percent; my wife and I have a row and it drops to 9 per cent; … Every day my commitment level moves up and down like a boat on rough seas, and my overall commitment might average out to 57 per cent for the entire day.
We strive for 100 per cent,
we want to give 100 percent (sometimes),
we wish we could give 100 per cent,
but life isn’t quite as simple.
Dr Lorraine Monroe taught in a school in New York’s Harlem for many years. In her advanced English class one year sat a very bright student who, until this particular year, had shown great promise. This year his marks suddenly nose-dived and he was obviously under-performing. Dr Monroe had a word with the boy, challenged him, threatened him, pleaded with him and counseled. him. She tried everything, but he continued to float just above the fail line, at about 70 per cent. At the end of the school year, the young man barely passed, another casualty of the urban jungle.
Ten years later, Dr Monroe was walking to work one morning when a well-dressed young man approached her. “Do you remember me?” he asked.
“Of course I do, ” Dr Monroe replied, “you were in my advanced English class many years ago. I remembered you because you had so much talent and you wasted it in my class.”
“I know, Dr Monroe. I knew you believed in me, even though you were disappointed at my performance. I’ve always hoped I’d run into you again to thank you for believing in me, because I am one of the editorial writers for Time magazine now, and I owe much of my success to you. You see, Dr Monroe, my final year at school was a difficult year for my family. My father was in prison, my mother was a prostitute, my older brother was selling drugs, and I was left to care for my younger sister and brother. Dr Monroe, 70 per cent was 100 percent of all I could give you.”
Sometimes a 70 per cent commitment is 100 per cent of all we have to give. And God is there, in the middle of our ‘meager’ 70 per cent, recognising the seeds of growth in what we’re giving him. God will show up in whatever percentage we give him, which motivates us to give even more.
Source: Mike Yaconelli, Messy Spirituality, Christianity for the rest of us, Hodder & Stoughton, 2001, pg 116-118
2 Corinthians 8:12
Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly.
And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.
by 林弟兄, bro Lim
Apr 7, 2015
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