Thursday April 23, 2009
If you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own? Luke 16:12.
The question arises: where are we responsible for some-one else’s property? Perhaps we can all think of times we have borrowed something and damaged it in the process. I recall Ann doing a cleaning job at a neighbour’s house, and unfortunately I went to help. I backed into a desk that had a hutch—poorly secured, mind you—full of ornaments that crashed down on my head. The ornaments fared worse than my head, and led to a very embarrassing meeting with the owner!
What is less obvious is, of course, that all we have is not really ours. We have it for a time, but we cannot take it with us when life ends. Who does it really belongs to? Generally, whoever wins the right to “own” it, as it changes hands through generations or by purchase. So nobody really “owns” our property—we simply have the loan of it for our sojourn on earth. How do we use this property, provided by a gracious Father to equip us for our earthly journey? Is it used wisely, generously and with eternity in view?
Once we realize this, then it is not only the things we have that need to be used carefully, but also the bodies we inhabit. We may not particularly like the particular body we have—bathroom closets of cosmetics and improvements for both sexes suggest we all like some improvement. The biggest argument for a healthy lifestyle is that our body is not to do as we like with, but the desired dwelling place of God. We would never trash or abuse our own homes; we want to live in comfortable and attractive surroundings. So why would we not provide the most pleasing place for him to dwell.
As I recover from my surgery, the question I have to ask is: What may I have done to bring my sickness about? Not all sickness is avoidable, but how we live can cause or prevent much of the sickness that plagues our western society. Is this something we may be called to account for?