Our neighbours have a hummingbird feeder hung on their deck. Lately these tiny birds have been putting on quite a show as they approach it to feed.
There are several spots for the birds to drink nectar from. Despite this, they don’t appear to share very well.
One bird in particular will land but not feed. When others approach it will chase them away. There may be another two or three of these birds flying in circles around the feeder but the one will not let them near enough to land. There is a lot of energy being expended and at what gain?
As unusual as it is to see two feeding at the same time, the attitude of this dominant bird caused me to do some deeper thinking.
Have there been times when I have acted like this bird, not wanting to share with others? Do I hoard what should be freely available because I want to keep it for myself? Am I jealous, not able to see someone else have what I may want later?
These are disturbing thoughts but ones I need to examine. I don’t want to be using my energy fighting to hold onto things I need to be generous with.
Jesus gave his very life for me. He set the example to sacrifice for others. One of the greatest commandments is to love your neighbour as yourself. If I follow this teaching there will be no worry that my attitude won’t be selfish but instead will be loving and giving.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30,31 NIV)
To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. (Proverbs 21:3 NIV)