Curing the 'I' Problem
August 31, 2022 | View PDF
In Luke 12.16-19 there’s a total of 11 personal pronouns: I – I – My – I – I – My – I – My – My – I – My. Read for yourself: “Jesus told them this parable: The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store MY crops.’
“Then he said, ‘This is what I will do. I will tear down MY barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all MY grain and MY goods. And I will say to MYself, ‘You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink, and be merry!” [all caps mine]
This guy has an “I” problem, and the problem is – he can’t see anyone but himself! The SIN is not in gathering wealth – the sin is in clutching’ at it as an end in and of itself. So here’s the test: How you see your money and your possessions is a TRUE gauge of how you see your faith and trust in Jesus. Jesus said it this way, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Story – A man hung out a hummingbird feeder, and almost immediately it became a very popular spot for all the neighborhood hummingbirds. 2 – 3 – even 4 at a time could be seen there almost every day. By the end of a couple weeks, he had to refill the feeder daily. By the end of the month, the usage was drastically reduced, and he soon discovered why – a male hummingbird had taken over the feeder as “his” property!
It seemed he was the only one using it. He would eat, then sit in a nearby tree so he could fly out to attack any other bird that tried to use “his” feeder! Guard duty occupied his every waking hour. He was diligent in his self-appointed duty. By assuming ownership, he forfeited his freedom. He could no longer come and go as he wished. He was tied to the work of guarding “his” feeder. He became possessed by his possessions.
That hummingbird assumed that what was GIVEN to him, was “his!” In short, the gift laid claim to his time, attention, thoughts, and energy. It would never have occurred to his little bird-brain that there was always food in the feeder, no matter how many others came for their share. But that very same abundance became a prison for him, because he couldn’t allow others to have what they needed. Many of us are like that hummingbird – we’ve missed the point that everything we have is a gift from God!
We think we’ve worked for all we’ve got, and we’ve earned everything we have. But the fact remains – God gave you strength for the work, and wisdom for the caretaking. If God gave you those things, then by extension, God gave you everything you have. The cure for an “I” problem, then, is to give thanks where thanks is due, and give your heart to God!
Pastor Corey Jenkins
Sidney 1st United Methodist Church