October 8, 2009
Rob Bell on the Reward of the Tenth Commandment
Soul sickness comes from coveting someone else's life. Accepting God's gift of you is the cure.
He talked about the pastor he met who wanted to quit. Because he could never get away from the responsibilities. Another who felt his ministry was insignificant because it wasn’t large. What drives these soul-shaping forces?
Rob pointed to Jesus, who told his followers “you must eat my body and drink my blood,” and many disciples no longer followed him. If you talk about war, or about women and encouraging them in their leadership, or about faith and it's inextricable dance with doubt, the crowds will thin. (And the applause at Catalyst was tentative and uncertain, an indication of the accuracy of Bell’s point). Ministry is not always up and to the right.
In Luke 21, Jesus saw the rich putting gifts into the treasury and the poor widow who “put in more than all the others. She out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Her small gift was, in a deep mystical way, MORE than their large gift.
Rob professed his amazement at Christian organizations that rank the most significant churches and organizations based on size. And they all profess to follow a Savior to said, “The last shall be first?” As Rob said, “Put away the crack pipe!”
You are a “eucharist,” a “good gift” that God offers to the world. And you are to serve those whom Christ has given you, whether many or few.
Exodus 20 lists the ten commandments. Unlike th first nine, the tenth is not outwardly observable--you can't visibly see someone coveting someone else's things. The rabbis say that the tenth is not just a command, it’s the reward for following the first nine. Yes, not coveting is a reward. By living for God, you won’t want anyone else’s life. You won’t want to have what others have. You’ll be comfortable being the YOU that God created you to be.
Keep a Sabbath. What day of the week do you NOT answer email?
Does your spouse get your best, or just the scraps left over after you’ve given your best to others? Do your kids see you at your best?
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