Something to GiveWritten by Andrei Yashurin
Now may He who supplies seed to sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply seed that you have sown and increase fruit of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. 2 Corinthians 9:10,11
When we examine this passage from Bible, three things quickly become evident to us:
God sees us as sowers; God provides us with seed; God grants an increase.
At a first glance it may look like Paul is talking about something secondary and insignificant, something that does not deserve much attention. However, I am convinced that he described one of most important laws of life, and this law, rightly applied, will bring to us all Godís blessings and enrich our life far beyond our imagination.
All blessings are freely given to us by God, but secret that most of people donít understand is that they are given to us as a seed, not as a ripe fruit. Abundance is subject to law of sowing and reaping, or giving and receiving. In order to get, we need to give. If we want to reap an abundant harvest, it is important for us to take care about sowing good seeds.
God sees us as sowers, and He provides us with seeds.
"Do not give up until you have something to give". I do not know exactly who said those words, but for more than six years since I first heard them, they continue to be a tremendous source of an inspiration and encouragement in times when I feel like Iím going to quit. The fact is that no matter where we are in life, we always face challenges, and often first reaction to a challenge is fear. We may be afraid of an unknown. We may be uncertain whether we will have enough strength, wisdom and natural resources to go through and to win. We may feel bad because our expectations were unfulfilled. We could become tired of misunderstandings, rejection and criticism. And yet, this wise advice ensures us that no seeming failure is final. There are no reasons to give up until we have something to give, and Truth is that we all have something to give, even if we donít know it. God sees us as sowers, and He provides us with seeds.
Every time when a thought "I have nothing" comes to you, reject it, because it is a lie. Poverty is a mentality. People are poor moment they feel they are poor. When we look at people, even in most desperate conditions, we see that EVERYBODY HAS SOMETHING. It can be a little money what they have. It can be some personal items that they own. It can be their relationships with other people. It can be their knowledge and an understanding. It can be their physical, mental and spiritual potential. It can be their ability to have personal relationships with God and to receive guidance from Him.
Life, Liberty and Pursuit of FruitfulnessWritten by Andrei Yashurin
At some stage of our spiritual development, weíve got to realize that laws of life are often paradoxical. With such and understanding it is much easier to handle all seeming failures, which are mainly caused by our addiction to linear thinking.
One of greatest paradoxes of life is that people donít become happy by pursuing happiness.
Of course, some people do not pursue happiness at all Ė they lost their illusions long time ago, and their main goal is to get by, or, perhaps, to gain a small advantage over others. They are doing what is natural for a natural person, so there is no reason to condemn them. But how about those idealists who believe that life is governed by spiritual principles, ones that people can know and apply for their benefit? Is it worthwhile for them to strive and to pray, asking God to make them happy?
My personal experience, and experience of some people I know proves that answer to this question is NO. Every time someone set his (her) mind to pursue happiness, he (she) is doomed for a disappointment.
Have you ever heard phrases like that: "Let someone come to my life and make me happy", or "I will be truly happy when Iíll get this thing" ? The basic problem of most seekers of happiness is that they look for it outside of themselves, but happiness just doesnít belong to world of things, or even human relationships. Truly, when we get what we want, or meet "the right" person, we experience fulfillment Ė but only for a short time. Unhappiness is a state of mind, and unless we deal with it at its root, it will eventually poison our prosperity and even our "ideal" relationships.
There is also another category of people, who believe that happiness comes from an inside, from our intimate relationships with God, and they do their best to cultivate those relationships through prayer, meditation and religious observances. They are closer to truth, but still donít comprehend it, and still donít happy. Why? Because when people say "I need nothing but God to make me happy", they continue to remain self-centered and blind to what He wants to do in their life.
I guess, most of us have been acquainted with unhappy religious zealots, and wondered why Godís promise of an abundant life does not work for them.