What if I told you that I knew a man who loved oxygen so much that he would just keep inhaling, but never exhaled? He knew of how great oxygen was for him, so he couldn’t get enough of it, and just kept breathing in. Or, there’s this girl that loved plants so much and knew that carbon dioxide helped it grow, so she constantly blew out at the plants, but never inhaled. Such a desire to see the plants blossom that she took everything she had and just kept letting it go. What would you think of those people?
Stupid. That’s what I think. The first guy is an idiot because he’s going to bust a lung if he keeps all that air packed in him. Plus, the cycle of oxygen and carbon dioxide is extremely beneficial to the world around us. And that girl is a moron. I mean, good for her that she longs to see the plants grow, but she can only blow so much before she runs out of it herself. If she doesn’t take a break sooner or later, she’ll have exhausted all the air that she had in her, and would basically become useless for the plant. These people are simply fools.
And then I look at myself and I think…stupid…idiot…moron…fool. I do the exact same thing, in the spiritual sense.
First, we have the man who kept inhaling without letting anything go. Throughout my life I’ve soaked up so much knowledge. God has blessed me so much with so many different resources where I can grow in Him. Pastors, sermons, commentaries…God has been teaching me and training me for 21 years of my life. He’s transformed me so much where I’ve become more able to understand and interpret His Word personally, with clarity, and look deeply at the world around with a kingdom vision. And I get so blessed with how much I know and what God teaches me, and I keep it to myself. If it truly was so good for me, wouldn’t I want to spread it to others? It’s so selfish of me to just sit in my bedroom and bask in the mercy and grace of God while there are so many others who are scratching and clawing around trying to get perspective. Many times, people talk about being ‘trained’ and such. God did not give us training so we can make our way through a special obstacle course where we prove we know how to handle the weapons that we’ve been taught to use. No. There is a real life war going on, and we need to step out of the training field and enter the battle zone. Go out and teach others. But its so safe in the training area that we just want to master our skills in there, and then be content with the knowledge that we received a gold star on that course. When in reality, it’s somewhat meaningless. I don’t care if a person hit every 3-pointer they’ve ever taken in a practice…if they don’t ever play in a game, that skill is useless to me.
At the other end, is that innocent little girl. Sometimes, we desire to give and give and give because we want to help others grow so much. But we forget that we cannot survive if we don’t breathe on our own first. We become the limiting factor in the other person’s growth. If we never add more to our knowledge personally, then we’ll soon run out of our help for the other person. We are basically putting a cap on how much the other person can advance. Again, that’s really not taking the other person into consideration. So many times I try to do many acts of service, and lead bible studies, and preach the gospel…but personally I don’t make time to meet with God one-on-one and keep learning. If I’m the only source that person has for closeness with God, I better keep refilling myself so that I can keep build them up as well. Otherwise, we both will basically become stagnant.
There needs to be a constant balanced cycle. I need to BREATHE IN…daily engross myself in the Word of God and continue to grow closer and gain knowledge and understanding. At the same time, I need to BREATHE OUT…regularly share what the Lord has been putting on my heart and teaching me so that others can grow and build off it. Both actions are very important, but if not done together, it can pose seriously problems.