June 16, 2018
Proverbs 11:24… One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
Solomon’s proverbs are for life; they are not just for church activity. In fact, the whole Bible was written as a reminder of God’ love and God does not love us more on church days than any other day. One thing the Bible teaches, clearly, in the historical stories of the Old Testament and the teaching of the New is that God does not activate His love only when we are good. His love is not driven by favorable circumstances. We, humans, have trouble identifying love by God’s expressions.
The proverb above is about giving. It includes, but is not limited to, giving in the church. Are you a giver? When you see someone, or hear of someone, in need… what is your first thought? Do you try to figure out why they are in need? Or, do you try to figure out how to help? It makes sense to be prudent and not give to someone who squanders gifts or wastes them on evil things. But, even on your best day you might not be able to ascertain the reason for need. I speak not only about money; we also give of our time and talents. I have found, in my lifetime, that God is not upset with me if I help someone who doesn’t deserve it. He is watching my heart. He so loved the world, that, even though we did not deserve it, He sent His Son to die for all people. Giving is an expression of love, or it is selfish. Steer clear of giving when you see a benefit to yourself. Human nature readily benefits self. Giving is contrary to human nature. We just moved to Arizona. When we were packing up I realized I am a hoarder. I have never really thought about it that way. but I had so much stuff that was not really necessary for life. Karla, who does not always share the same priorities that I do, asked me, “So, honey, how many nails does a person really need?” Since I was a builder, I had boxes of nails. Do I need them now? They are heavy and take up space. I thought about a young man who could use them and I gave them to him, along with all the tools that are needed to use the nails properly. That was a liberating experience. My friend, Chuck, came and helped me get rid of tools. He said, “This is rusty” I said, “Yeah, but it works.”