We have a choice to be takers or givers. As born-again believers, God has given us all we need to live godly lives. 2Pe 1:3 “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
Among His provision are all the patience, peace, significance and security we’ll ever need. If we take up and appropriate these grace gifts, we will not only have enough for ourselves, but can freely, endlessly pour these out on others as well.
However, it is our nature to seek these basic desires of life in other places than in God. Our lust for significance and security results in us scrabbling with others on the streets of life for crumbs of importance and feelings of safety. We are like sponges, trying to absorb every drop of approval, attention, protection and help we can from those around us.
In contrast, if we come to grasp and accept how much we are loved in Christ, how much He has provided for us, and accept it, then we will become springs of blessing to those around us, constantly giving rather than taking. Our difficulties in life will only increase the flow of this grace through us.
As it says in Psalm 84:5-7 “Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. [not on just living for this world]
“As they pass through the Valley of Baca,” [that is, the valley of weeping, of difficulty]
“they make it a place of springs;” [our response of trust and praise in difficulty make it a place of blessing to others].
“the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.” [Since our strength is in God, there is no end to it flowing into our lives and then out into the lives of those around us.]
It is up to us to take the time to pray as Paul did in Ephesians 3:17b-19, “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
As God answers that prayer, and we cooperate in worship and faith, we will be filled with His fullness. We will then be able to respond differently to the pressure of life and thereby be a fresh, ever flowing spring, pouring out patience, grace, goodness, wisdom and love on all around us.
When others compete with us for prestige, power and position, when they seek security and safety by competing, attacking, comparing and denigrating, how will we respond? Will we be a sponge, competing also, seeking to suck out of them what they also desire? Or will we be a spring of blessing to them, appropriating His power by going to the great storehouse of God’s grace and drawing from the unlimited significance and security He has bought for us? And share these with others?
The choice is ours, being self-centered sponge or a Christ-centered spring.