Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Counting Gain as Loss


Prequel: This probably could have been a postscript, but I wanted to be 100% certain you didn't conclude that I've got this "counting all things as a loss" initiative sown up. I don't. I dare say I struggle very little with the material side of the equation, but when it comes to the abstract ... not so much. Letting loose of self-defeating (or self-righteous) feelings, or freeing my children (mid-lifers that they are now), or remaining surrendered are tough. Sometimes really tough. So I offer the following as much as a reminder to myself as anything.
It's an odd economy, isn't it? The scriptures tell us to count our gains as losses. So, conversely, it must mean to count our losses as gains. How well I know the difficulty of that principle at times.

To the blind eye and the deaf ear, it's just plain ridiculous. Come to think of it, it sometimes makes no sense to those of us that have been granted sight either.

The Creator Himself tells us that His ways aren't our ways, and vice versa. How well we apprehend the truth of that!

These seeming contradictions are endless. A few ...

  • Love your enemies
  • The servant is the leader
  • Overcome evil with good
  • The weak are the strong
  • The first is the last
  • Give to receive
  • The poor in spirit are the rich
  • Die to live

It just doesn't make any sense if one attempts to apply common sense (which some erroneously call "faith"). It's totally uncommon; completely other-worldly ... so much so that, apart from God's presence, utterly impossible.

As I calculate my gains I begin on empty. It is then that I see treasure beyond measure.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures
on earth, where moth and rust destroy,
and where thieves break in and steal.
But store up for yourselves treasures
in heaven, where moth and rust do not
destroy, and where thieves do not break in
and steal.
For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21

Command those who are rich in this
present world not to be arrogant nor
to put their hope in wealth,
which is so uncertain,
but to put their hope in God,
who richly provides us with everything
for our enjoyment.
Command them to do good, to be
rich in good deeds, and to be
generous and willing to share.
In this way they will
lay up treasure for themselves
as a firm foundation for the coming age,
so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
1 Timothy 6:17-19


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I often imagine the unfolding of those treasures in a soon and coming season; I try to keep that focus on days when I think I need more, want more, and am just plain rolling around in my selfishness. Honestly, the closer I get the heaven the greater my perspective in the matter. I can't take any of this with me when I go. I only carry my heart to his feet. How I pray for wise investments along those lines in my here and now.


Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

As always...AMEN!

The most treasured and precious gifts are not what I've accumulated in money or material things, but what I've accumulated in loving, caring relationships and if I've made one person's life a little bit better and turned them to the Lord.

a portland granny said...

This is a most thought provoking post. As I get older, I no longer add much to my treasures, but I sure like the ones that I have. The attachment to the things of earth is a pull at times.

Your post today reminds me of Jim Elliot's famous quote...."He is no fool, who gives which he cannot keep, for that which he cannot lose."

~*Michelle*~ said...

oh, this gives me such comfort:

" a firm foundation for the coming age,so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life."

This was a great inspiration today.....thanks so much! :)

MOMSWEB said...

Glad I dropped by today! I just closed a business and I'm counting it joy!

Saleslady371 said...

I have to ask it going to be the world's way or God's way? And that's why my mind needs to be renewed. Bless you.

Beth E. said...

Geez, Sassy...I'm feeling really guilty, now, about that big ol'jar of change hubby and I rolled a coupla nights ago, all the while making plans to spend our loot. LOL

This is a post that will have me thinking on it for several days. I agree wholeheartedly with what you're saying here.

Good stuff, girl!

christy rose said...

The treasures of Heaven are the only ones that have true value that is for sure! Great Post Kathleen!