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Live Expansively

I had a conversation with a coworker recently about doing good for others. I told her that I believe each person has a void that needs to be filled. I can choose to put something positive in it or let them go about their lives and run the risk of someone putting something negative in it. I told her that I do my best to put positive things into other people’s lives whenever I have the chance. She replied, “My mind doesn’t think like that. I don’t think I really have anything to give so I don’t look for those opportunities.”

I assured her that she has a lot to give and that she needs to be more generous with the abilities she has. I’m afraid that so many Christians think along the same lines she does. They believe that because they’re not in front of a lot of people, they can’t make a difference. They think that they don’t have anything to give or offer others. They let the lie of “I’m a nobody” keep them from doing good for others. That’s just not true. If you are a Christian, you have everything and need to give it away freely.

The believers in the Corinthian church were falling for the same lie. It frustrated Paul because he knew better. In II Corinthians 6:11-13, he told them, “Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way… Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively! (MSG)” The only limits your life has when it comes to affecting others are the limits you self impose. Your life is bigger than you think. It’s far grander than you can imagine. It just seems small because you’re living it in a small way.

The way to open up and live a bigger life is through giving what you have. It can be the smallest of gestures that create the biggest impact. On one of my trips to Haiti, I was humbled as I watched one of our teenagers give a cup of cold water to a paralyzed orphan. All of the other kids and teens were out in the fields playing. She recognized that this child couldn’t go out there and also that they were thirsty. She left the “fun” in order to spend time with one who couldn’t be like all the other kids. That’s living expansively. She got a glimpse into the idea that she had something to offer even if it was a cup of water or a conversation.

Jesus gave us the example of true servanthood. He taught us how to invest in the lives of others through listening, sharing and giving. He knew that living an open and expansive life starts with giving of yourself. When we recognize as verse 10 says, “We own nothing, and yet we have everything,” then we will stop seeing our lives as small. We will start to see them as large, God created lives and begin to serve others in a way that points them to the cross. Your life has meaning. Your life is not small, so quit living life as if it were.

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