LAV’ISH, adjective. Expending or bestowing with profusion; liberal to a fault; wild; unrestrained.
Lavish is a pretty amazing word. I don’t think we use it enough. I also don’t think most of us really know what it means. Our society tends to hold things close. We clutch whatever we have to our chests in hope that we are never called upon to release whatever it is we hold.
What if we were a lavish society? I don’t mean the kind where everyone walks about in silks and satins with cigarettes at the end of impossibly long holders. I mean the kind where we’re completely selfless. Where everyone, no matter who they are, is generous to a fault.
What’s stopping us?
But I lavish my love on those who love me and obey my commands…
Deuteronomy 5:10 (NLT)
It’s a common complaint among church-attenders that they don’t feel God. They keep waiting for something to happen, but nothing ever does. These are usually the fringe people. Those who never truly involve themselves in much of anything, but come to church waiting for something to happen. Something rarely happens for these people. Why?
Notice that God didn’t say that He would just lavish love on everyone. He loves everyone—never doubt that—but the lavishing is His response to our response to His love.
How likely are you to bestow great love and gifts upon someone who is continually sitting in front of you with arms crossed and a scowl on their face? The more likely response is a kick in the shins. I think God sometimes feels the same way about us. We’re made in His image, after all, and even God vented a lot of frustration with Israel on a regular basis.
But lets say someone knocks on your door and you answer in your bath robe. This person at the door is dressed to the nines (I never really did understand what that’s supposed to mean) and has with them a home-cooked gourmet meal. The works. Not only that, but they’ve left a brand new car in your driveway—full of gas and insurance paid. After dinner has been served on starched linens and fine china, a group of maids comes in a cleans your house top to bottom. This person no longer deserves a kick in the shins. You’ve probably spent every moment since the doorbell rang trying to figure out how you can show your gratitude for this lavish gift.
It’s easier to love someone who loves you back. If you’re looking for the lavish kind of love from God, why not try showing a little to Him?
Daily Bible reading: Deuteronomy 5-7, Mark 12:1-27