A river, to be healthy, must first of all have a source, and then a destination.
The water comes in, and it flows on.
So are our lives.
In every single area of our lives we can see the health of who we are, by the inflow and the outflow, and the relative size between the two.
If we have little coming in with a lot going out, we have depletion.
If we have a lot of inflow, with only a little going out, we have flooding (hoarding) and destruction.
If we have little coming in, and little going out, we have stagnant ponds of death.
Whether this is in terms of our hospitality, our finances, our gifted places, our family interactions, our friendships, our careers and business’s, it doesn’t matter what area, the principle of inflow and outflow holds true.
And even beyond the ‘easy to see’ places. It holds truer still for our manner of being.
If we are trusting and trusted, the flow is great both ways. If we are generous the flow is both ways. If we are gracious and compassionate, the flow is both ways.
The healthiest financial picture, for instance, is where there is much coming in, and much going out. Always enough, never hording, never depleting. A basis of health that extends and creates positive ripples to many around us.
Same with joy.
Same with passion.
Same with wisdom.
Same with integrity.
For in all these blessings and healthy manners of being, we have privilege. Privilege is that awareness of all the good things that we are enjoying and are privy to.
But if the privilege stops with us, we die. A sad and lonely death.
Privilege is not for us. It is for others.
It is a privilege to take our gifting and use it to bless others. It is a privilege to take our education and train up others. It is privilege to have social standing and use that to change the world. Privilege gives back. And as it does, it increases, and then it gives back some more.
There is not a one of us on this planet who cannot give back. Some of the most generous folk I know are those with little (so it seems) to give. It is because privilege and the principle of the rivers of our lives, are not a matter of quantity, but of relativity.
How much are you offering back? How much are you investing in this world? Is the outflow commensurate with your inflow?
Perhaps you are familiar with Sodom and Gomorrah of the Old Testament. Of how that city was destroyed by God for their wicked ways. It was a city of debauchery and sin. But what was the real sin? What was it that really brought it down?
Perhaps you will be surprised to find this, “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom; she and her daughters were arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned” Ezekiel 16.49
The river, was flowing in, but wasn’t being sent out. The engorgement of their own lives is what destroyed them.
Privilege that took it all for themselves. Leads only to death.
We have death all around us too. Poverty thinking in the midst of much. Poverty thinking in the midst of little. Poverty says I want this, I need that, lets have more, and it says, no we can’t get rid of that, we might need this, lets just hang onto that.
Stingy is a matter of the heart, not the circumstances.
When our lives are lived according to our own insecurities, and fears, and idolatries. For anything that does not reflect the heart of God, reflects ourselves.
Generosity, a matter of the heart, not the circumstances.
As sons and daughters of The King, as co-heirs with Christ, as children of the Kingdom of God, we have an incredible bounty and resource right at our fingertips. All the riches of heaven are ours to give away. Ours to extend and to offer and to bless with.
The privilege of kingdom living, is not for us, it is for us to extend to others. That is real privilege. That is the heart of God.
Only as we lose our lives, will we find them.
Only as we walk with loose hands and full hearts, will we have life.
Only as we let grace settle deep into ourselves, will we have any for others.
The river of life must flow in, must saturate the ground of our lives, creating pools of refreshment teeming with life, and then it flows out, tipping over into lives around us, changing the climate of our cultures and lives.
Only when the river is flowing, is everything working well, and we are not destroyed.
Privilege: are you aware of the privilege of your life?
Privilege: are you flowing life out to others?