I have been thinking about what it means to be a consumer and what it means to be a contributor in our spiritual walk. Being a consumer in my opinion is being able to obtain information and learn more about God’s word through bible study or classes or church service. As we are being discipled we are being consumers learning how to grow in our faith. Consuming is great because you learn and understand more as pastors or other bible study leaders are teaching you. On the other hand, if that is all you are doing by just listening to God’s word and just using it for yourself then it defeats the point of what God has called us to do. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” James 1:22 (KJV). Hearing the word of God alone is not beneficial to you and others if we don’t use it. We are to be doers of the word and to go out and act on what we have been taught.
Therefore you move yourself from being a consumer to being a contributor. We would be selfish if we were to keep everything we knew and learned about to ourselves. God has created us to be the hands, feet, and eyes of the Church and to go out and serve one another. “Now all of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it” 1 Corinthians 12:27 (NLT). Contribute your talents and gifts and reach those that do not know and need to hear about God. It is like a ripple effect; once you touch someone’s life they are more apt to want to touch someone else’s life.
What does this look like? I know for our family, we have been discipled and taught through our church and the different classes and bible studies and our kids through children’s programs. We have been greatly blessed consuming God’s word through these programs. But now we are challenging our small group and family to reach out and serve in these next few months by contributing our time and talents. We have planned several outreaches to serve food in low-income communities, bring gifts to families that can’t afford it during Christmas, helping kids that are disabled, and serving our local food pantries. These are just a few ways on how you can get involved. We want to teach not only our children but also those around us not to be consumers but to contribute and give to others that truly need it. Showing God’s love through your actions can be the biggest testimony of whom God is.
This holiday season, I challenge you to give your time and talents to those in need. If it means taking the time out to help a neighbor or saying “hello” to a stranger, it will be well worth it. Pray God will give you opportunities to be a contributor of your faith and not just a consumer. You will be so greatly blessed by putting your focus on others that you will forget about your own needs and realize what truly is important this season.