Showing Off Your Stuff


And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” GENESIS 33:5

         How humble Jacob was as he introduced his family to Esau. The unspoken message was this ~ “God has been very gracious to me even though I sinned greatly against you.” You might ask, “How could he feel differently? Look at what he did!” True. But entitled people overlook their own sin and expect to be blessed anyway. Many years earlier, Jacob had felt entitled to Esau’s blessing so it would have been natural for him to have an attitude when introducing his family.

         Humility is becoming. How do I view everything I enjoy today? Just because I’ve always had it doesn’t mean I always will. God does not owe me. Every good thing comes from above from a gracious God who gives me, not what I deserve, but what I don’t deserve. Every breath is a gift. My salvation is a gift. Momentary grace to live in the difficulties of these times is a gift.

         Spiritual arrogance is unbecoming. Perhaps you’ve witnessed it in others. They talk about themselves and their family incessantly. They brag on each member and are quick to tell you everything they did right in raising them. (Spiritual formulas abound on child rearing.) All of this unfolds as you are held hostage. There are few questions about your life – only story after story about theirs. When the topic finally turns to you and your family, there is the feeling that you are under inspection to see if you measure up. If everything isn’t perfect, you’ve clearly done something wrong and you feel their displeasure. There is no compassion for struggle of any kind.

         How much do you enjoy their company? How would the reunion between Jacob and Esau have gone if Jacob had approached confidently and said, “This is my extensive family. Isn’t it impressive? I told you I was the one who should have the blessing and obviously God agreed! Look at what I own.”

         I know many who have been faithful yet struggle. Their pain can become a wedge in their relationship with God. After their faithful service to God, shouldn’t he bless them with health? After raising their children in church, shouldn’t their kids love Jesus? Disillusionment with a God who is perceived as stingy plagues them. Bad theology was a set up for this disaster.

         How do I show off my ‘stuff’ today? After all, I may have it all today and none of it tomorrow. Either way, God has been gracious toward me and given me way more than I deserve.

Help me see every single thing I enjoy as a gift from you. You are Grace. Amen

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