Forgive me if I’m being redundant.
It’s not enough to give. I have to give so that my reward comes from God, not in this life, but in my life to come. To love the best that I can, I have to give the best that I have. It’s easy to give so that I gain respect or preference. In church, I don’t want to be seen passing the plate without dropping something in; perhaps with online giving, this stigma has gone. Regardless, from Cain and Able to last Sunday or even right now, giving is an act of worship, not an act of funding God. I’m pretty sure He’s set.
Instead, I must give in ways which stretch my faith in what Christ said in Luke 14:14, “and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”. My reward will be at the “resurrection of the righteous.” A Bible Commentary says, “… notice will be taken of the good works of the saints, particularly of their acts of beneficence to the poor members of Christ; and which they have done in faith, from a principle of love to Christ, and with a view to the glory of God, and the good of their fellow creatures and Christians.”
Now, it is not always the right thing to do to give what is requested. While in Romania, I learned that when a beggar cried out to me for money, I would stop and offer to buy them food. The genuinely needy would go with me to the store, and I would buy the food they requested. However, many beggars became indignant.
Money can cause all sorts of problems so be prayerfully cautious when giving cash. It’s better to find out the person’s immediate need and, if possible, provide it. Have them stay where they’re at, and you fetch it for them. Giving is a characteristic of a Christian, but it requires much prayer and wisdom. Sadly, as you know, many beggars intend to use your cash gift for drugs, drink, and decadence. You may say, “That’s not my problem.” I ask, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Prayer: Today, Lord Jesus, I pray that I would not seek places of honor, that I would not give to receive, that I would not use legalism to justify my lack of action. I pray I would put an end to my excuses. That I would be a man of action, of passion for the last of the least of humanity, for we all are created in the image of God. Teach me, my Lord, to give as You give, I pray. Help me to act in faith, trusting that you own my heart. Amen.
Photo by Jonathan Kho on Unsplash