A 40 Day Journey to Becoming Like the One We Follow
Day 23: Giving (Matthew 6:3-4)
What’s the point in having all this stuff? What good is money anyway? Everything you own will ultimately end up in a landfill one day. So focus on what really matters.
That’s pretty much a summary of Ecclesiastes.
Our God is a giving and gracious God. The Father loves to bless his children with good gifts. BUT (and this is a huge but!) there is a caveat. It all comes back to his initial covenant with Abram in Genesis 12. God tells Abram, “I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others…All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”
Did you catch that? God would bless Abram so that he could then be a blessing to others. Why would he expect any less from us? God never blesses us with anything – wealth, possessions, talents, abilities, etc. – without expecting us to use those blessings to bless others. God doesn’t give us “every good and perfect gift” just for us to hoard it all.
Jesus was as straightforward as he could be with the parable of “The Rich Fool.” This guy had an amazing harvest, so much that his barns couldn’t hold it all. So he decided to tear down his current barns and build bigger ones to hold all his stuff that he himself had earned. God called him a fool and demanded his life from him.
It’s a terrifying story.
Jesus talked a lot about money and possessions. We can’t serve God and wealth. Giving should become second nature (“don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” implies habitual patterns of behavior that don’t take conscious thought or effort anymore). He commended the poor widow for giving out of her poverty rather than those who gave out of their surplus. He said it’s better to give than to receive (which science has proven true!).
Jesus would ultimately model this kind of giving by laying down his own life for our sake. He never held onto possessions, never hoarded wealth, never turned away anyone in need. His giving was second nature.
May it be so with us. God has blessed us so that we can be a blessing to others.