“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”
Isaiah 58: 9b-12 (The Bible, NIV)
In his book, Crazy Love, Francis Chan draws our attention to this passage, in particular the phrase, “if you spend yourselves.”
“…we are each given different gifts and talents by our Master. The thing that matters most is how we use what we have been given, not how much we make or do compared to someone else. What matters is that we spend ourselves.”
Do we spend ourselves in cynical bitterness, in anger, in self-gratification, in getting?
Or do we spend ourselves for the sake of others?
Do we sow mercy, love, kindness, faith?
I have spent too much of my time on this earth standing in cynical judgment. Action is required in the effort to move away from cynicism. Lord, help me. Time to get moving.