DayBreaks for 9/16/16 – Glass, Mirrors and the Power of Silver

 

 

DayBreaks for 9/16/16 – Glass, Mirrors and the Power of Silver

An enormously rich man complained to a psychiatrist that despite his great wealth which enabled him to have whatever he wanted, he still felt miserable. The psychiatrist took the man to the window overlooking the street and asked, “What do you see?” The man replied, “I see men, women, and children.”

The psychiatrist then took the man to stand in front of mirror and asked, “Now what do you see?”

The man said, “I see only myself.”

The psychiatrist then said, “In the window there is a glass and in the mirror there is glass, and when you look through the glass of the window, you see others, but when you look into the glass of the mirror you see only yourself. The reason for this, “said the psychiatrist, “is that behind the glass in the mirror is a layer of silver. When silver is added, you cease to see others. You only see yourself.”

Whenever your devotion to money and material things causes you to be self-centered, you in essence deny God’s intention for your life. It is also a denial of the Christ, for Jesus came into the world so that we might be in union with God.

Jesus talked more about money than any other subject in the Scriptures. I always thought it was because it was too easy to make it our idol and to pursue it too strongly. The story of the rich man I relayed above gives me pause to reflect a bit more deeply about it. Perhaps the danger of silver (a metaphor in the story for money) is that it only allows us to see ourselves and not the needs of those around us.

PRAYER: God, I confess to you that all my life I’ve been far too concerned about money.  I confess I’ve not been a good steward.  I confess it is far too easy for me to see only myself and my wants and wishes rather than to see those all around me who could benefit from my generously (and hopefully wisely!) giving what you have already given to me.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

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DayBreaks for 8/4/16 – Scratching the Itch

DayBreaks for 8/04/16 – Scratching the Itch

When I was a kid, I sometimes got into poison ivy. The key to poison ivy, once you have it, is not to scratch. Restraining yourself is hard, for your skin itches and you want relief. But scratching only makes poison ivy worse.

Greediness works the same way. We get infected, and we want to scratch, although we know we shouldn’t do so. Possessing more and more appears to provide relief, but only makes the situation worse. We keep scratching, but it’s no solution and it certainly doesn’t solve the real problem in our souls.

Jesus issues a warning inspired by a squabble over inheritance, but one that all of us need to hear. He says: “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”

Clarence Jordan’s translation of this verse brings out its original earthiness. Here’s what Jesus says according to Jordan: “You all be careful and stay on your guard against all kinds of greediness. For a person’s life is not for the piling up of possessions.”

In these few words, Jesus rejects much of what keeps our society humming. He warns us against greed, avarice, the desire to possess more than we need, more than we can use, more than we want. In other words, the more we scratch the itch, rather than getting better…it just gets worse!

PRAYER: Father, you have been so generous with us, but it seems we are never satisfied and we keep on scratching the itch and wanting more. May we learn to be grateful…and content. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

DayBreaks for 04/05/13 – Comparison

DayBreaks for 04/05/13 – Comparison                  

comparisonNOTE: I am on a missions trip/internship to Africa and will be gone until 5/25.  Please pray for God’s work to go forth mightily, for protection for myself and those with whom I will be working, and for my wife in my absence!  Thank you…I cherish your prayers!  You will be receiving DayBreaks as usual (from the archive) after today until I’ve returned.

Recently, an old co-worker and friend of mine named Wayne Schaffnit shared an insight that I thought was great.  Here’s what he said: “Comparison is the root of all unhappiness.”  I don’t know if that is something Wayne read or if it is an original thought, but I think it is spot on! 

Consider this passage from Exodus 20:17: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

Do you see it?  Where does coveting start?  With comparing your house to your neighbor’s…and wanting one that you believe is better than the one you have.  It starts with coveting your neighbor’s wife because she is more attractive or talented than your own, it comes when you compare your servant with theirs, your animals with theirs…anything that you have can be compared with someone else’s and what is the result of the comparison?  You become unhappy with what you have – with what God has given you and the situation in which He has put you.  Comparison really is where coveting begins.  We wouldn’t covet if we weren’t comparing – good, better, best. 

Perhaps the only thing we should be comparing on a regular basis is our life to Christ’s.  I believe this comparison is appropriate – it reminds us of the goal that God has set for us – to be like Jesus.  All other comparison can be deadly.

James 4:2a – “You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want.” 

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks, 02/02/11: What Skittles Can Teach Us About God

I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. 2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. 4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! 5 You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told. – Psalm 40:1-5

Ed Young tells this revealing and interesting story:  “I took my family to a high school football game. During the third quarter, my daughter Landra said, “Dad, can I have some money to buy some candy?” Now I’m not a big candy guy, but I said, “Landra, here’s $5. Go and buy some candy.” She came back with a sack full of Skittles. As I watched her eat them, I said, “Landra, can I have some Skittles?” She said, “No.” I said, “Landra, just give me a couple.” She said, “They’re mine.”

“My little daughter didn’t understand several things. Number one, she didn’t understand the fact that I was the one who bought the Skittles for her. Number two, she didn’t realize my strength. I’m strong enough to forcibly take those Skittles from her and eat every one of them. If I wanted to, I could have done that. Number three, she didn’t understand that I could have gone to the concession stand, put 300 packages of Skittles on a credit card, come back to her, and given her so many Skittles that she couldn’t have eaten them all in a year.

“We all have Skittles. Some of us have a pretty nice size pile of Skittles; others have a medium-size pile of Skittles; and some of us have little bags of Skittles. Our loving God comes to us and says, “Would you bring me some Skittles? Just a few Skittles?” What do you think our reaction is? “No! They’re mine!” God says, “Just bring me some Skittles.” But we still say, “Uh-uh. I made those Skittles. I own those Skittles.” Like my daughter, we don’t understand several things. God is the one who gave them to us. They’re his Skittles. He bought them. In an instant, God could take all of our Skittles. Also, we don’t understand that God could rain so many Skittles on our lives, we wouldn’t know what to do with them. We couldn’t possibly spend or enjoy all of them.”

We are not much different than Young’s little girl, are we?  “God, these are my Skittles.  I worked hard to earn them.  Thanks for the abilities you gave me, but I EARNED these and they’re mine.”  How foolish we are when we fail to understand how childish such thinking is!  The next time you are tempted to hold on to something you’ve been given (which is all that we have!) let us remember the lesson of Skittles…and hold our Skittles in an open palm!

PRAYER:  We are afraid of losing what we’ve got, God.  We are filled with selfishness and greed and fear of loss and being without.  May we join David in his Psalm and remember all Your mighty works and give you praise and our offering of thanksgiving!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>