On average, we are spending nearly $200 per month on our pets. For every dog and cat in America we are spending nearly $72 million annually on food, medical expenses, and accessories. Pets are an incredibly important part of life. They are terrific companions and loyal friends. Connie and I are both pet lovers. We’ve always had family dogs and cats; we are unashamedly pet loving lifers.
Our love for animals causes me to wonder; Are we, as a nation, investing the same level of resources, time, and energy when growing healthy relationships with people? TD Ameritrade did a 2018 survey of 1500 Millennials to see how much pet ownership had an impact on their wallet. The survey found that both canines and felines are showered with financial affection. Dog owners spent on average $1,285 per year, while cat owners spent $915 per year.
Clearly, when it comes to money spent, many are treating our pets like people. Owning a pet and caring for our “fur babies” is not cheap. Most of us would agree we invest in things which really matter to us. Our animals matter to us and that is a good thing. Jesus wants us to match the same effort in loving people. The single message of God throughout the Bible: People Matter Most.
This weekend in part two of our current series, Build Strong , we’ll explore what God is expecting from all of us to grow strong people connections in our neighborhoods. Having healthy growing relationships, friendships, and connects is not cheap.
Jesus set the bar pretty high; in fact, His words are shocking. He does disturb us and stretch us and move us forward, where He is. “Simply put, if you are not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it goodbye, you can’t be my disciple.” Luke 14:33 MESSAGE
Being invested in a friendship is time consuming, to say the least. Being invested in creepy, crazy people with character issues is even more to ask. Doing every-day walk around people ministry for even strangers is unheard of today in many places; but it shouldn’t be. We should all be invested in people ministry everywhere; not just paid staff at the church building.
Jesus asks the wanna-be followers to invest in people (People Matter Most) as deeply as our hobbies, entertainment, and even our pets. Join us this weekend and bring a guest to check things out at Journey. Tell them we’re talking about how much we are learning; investing our time, talent, and treasure in all sorts of exciting God ways in our community.
Pray for Easter services everywhere in just a few days. Pray for Easter decisions for baptism. If my little chihuahua puppies were sick I would do anything to make them well. We invest in what really matters to us. People who do not know God through a personal Jesus relationship are in a lot of trouble. We should do everything we can to help them get well.
God is for everybody. Not everybody knows. We have to tell everybody. Bring someone as your guest to Journey on Easter. We’re in this together. Invest in people. People Matter Most.