by Pastor Royce Odiyar
What are you doing with what you have? The above quote refers specifically to wealth and financial increase obtained in part on the backs of those without positional power. Perhaps you feel threatened or attacked by this statement. Or maybe it doesn’t make sense or mean much. Please know this is not meant to be offensive, rather an opportunity to reflect on what we have and how we have achieved that. On the other hand, it is also worth noting that reason suggests that if the tables were turned those who are now oppressed would themselves be oppressors if they had the position and opportunity. Now this all may sound very negative, or pointless, but stick with me.
Now think about this, if we are honest with ourselves not just individually but especially corporately, as the body of Christ, we are no better than the Israelites, or the early Adventists, and sadly, we are probably worse. Which means we are as a body of believers are falling greatly short—but the good news is, we can redeem the time!
Coming back to the matter of oppression, we must not merely reflect on how we have achieved what we have BUT what we are currently doing with all we possess, including money, time, and talents? If we oppressed in any part to acquire and accumulate what we now have and then on top of that continue to withhold our increase from helping those less fortunate than ourselves this is double oppression.
Are there any people around you who are doubly oppressed? How have you contributed to it? What is God calling you to do?
Zacchaeus was a wee little man in stature, we suppose, but certainly not little in position or power. And he used his advantages to accumulate great wealth on the backs of others. When he realized his sin he said to Jesus, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusations, I restore four-fold” (Luke 19:8). What is God calling you to do with your time, talent, and treasure? To set the captives free and give recovery of sight to the blind?
Likely all of us to one degree or another are guilty of succeeding at the expense of another, but even if we are not, the question involved with double oppression is still a question we must honestly wrestle with. What are you doing with what you have?
Now is the time to press into God and ask Him who we can help. Make it personal. Identify a need and ask God how he wants you to help that individual, family or situation. And another tip, just start blessings others and as you move forward God will start showing you more and more how are you can be his hands and feet. Finally, remember, success and lasting blessing come from God—AND—there is no risk of being too generous for we are promised “The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself (Proverbs 11:25).