Monday, July 25, 2016

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

Dear friends and family,
I have been reflecting on this phrase my whole life. My mom used it and now it happens that I do too. The beginning of this phrase that most people refer to was before the Reformation of the church when the tax money from St. Paul's in London was used to pay St. Peter's tax in Rome.  Now, we use it to neglect Peter to pay Paul.   We are using resources that legitimately belong to or are needed by one party in order to satisfy a legitimate need of another party.   We are trying to solve a problem in a way that makes another problem worse. 

Let's think about this for a minute.....In Ephesians 2:8, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God".  

And another favorite of mine is Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see".

I have a family friend that needs this faith where finances are concerned.....

A close friend just told me a story about her mother and her finances... The mother is a God-fearing Christian woman who loves the Lord with all her heart.  The daughter has stepped away from God for a time to regroup, six years and counting after the loss of her dad to suicide.  They both need our prayers, one for finances who has been robbing Peter to pay Paul her whole life who still works in her 70's that just lost her job and the other for a return to her compassionate heart, her thirst for faith and her acceptance of what has happened and the chance to move forward spreading the Good News using her past as her testimony.

Today, neither one of them have the faith that is so freely given to us by God because of their circumstances.  We all rob Peter to pay Paul, whether it is spending time with one child and not the other, whether it is doing laundry instead of washing the dishes, whether it is going out to eat instead of cooking, whether it is going on vacation instead of staycation, whether it is driving a financed car or a paid for car, whether it's living in a house we can't afford and the list goes on and on.

We decided to live intentionally and purpose about six years ago and that has taken a lot of faith and humility.  I would encourage you today to put your faith back in people and relationships.  We are the church, we are the community that comes together when it is needed, we are......

As a Christ follower, I am not perfect and have certainly had to rob Peter to pay Paul. My prayer for you today is that you spend as much time following Christ that you do following the world and that your faith can be restored in people and relationships.  Remember, you might just be the only Jesus that some people ever see.

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