“Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Hebrews 13:15-16
There once was a fish with sparkling, glorious scales in all different colors. It was the most beautiful fish in all of the ocean. One day, a small blue fish asked for one of his sparkling scales. Just one scale, cause, you know, it had so many. This colorful fish scoffed and said “Absolutely not.” The other fish caught wind (weird cause it is under water) of this particular fish’s reluctance to share and they all turned away as it came close, didn’t invite it to play and ignored its presence altogether. This sparkling, colorful fish felt alone and hurt by the lack of attention of the other fish, because it was the most beautiful fish in the ocean.
If this story sounds familiar, it’s because this story comes from the popular book, The Rainbow Fish. Ultimately, the fish seeks advice on what to do and is instructed, by the wise Octopus, to give away it’s sparkling scales and only then will he gain the friends he so desires.
We, similarly, find our own sparkling scales, maybe our home, car, income, bike, baseball cards, shoes, new jacket, (fill in your new thing here) and we can’t stop talking about it with our friends. And after the twelfth time before noon that we mention this new thing and how cool it is and how much better it is than everything else, our friends begin to avoid us, start whispering under their breath that they’ve heard this all before, etc. And we begin to feel hurt that our friends aren’t joining us in our new found joy over our newfound object of affection.
Maybe it still brings us glimpses of happiness, but with no one to share it with, what worth does it really have?
What might happen if we shared something that we thought was too valuable to be shared? Are our friends more important than the new thing or is that new thing still as valuable with no one to share it with? Does God find more joy in our things or in our relationships?
God, help me to re-prioritize what I find valuable. Help me to see that the sacrifice of things in place of relationships is valuable and pleasing to you. Give me strength to release control and find joy in those around me instead of the stuff that I own.
written by Matt Boness