giving from poverty
The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
Giving from Poverty
A rich, but cynical businessman said to one of his staff, "Show me a truly unselfish act and I will give you a $100 bill." The staffer, said, "OK, walk with me at the lunch hour." They went to that part of town where there were lots of street people.
The staffer said, "Pick out anyone of these folks at random, and I will show you an unselfish act." The businessman pointed to one old man and said, "That one."
The staffer walked over to the old man and gave him a $10 bill. He turned to the businessman and said, "There! I just did an unselfish act. Where is my $100 bill?"
The businessman started to speak, but stopped in his tracks, when the old man shouted to some of his friends: "Hey, guys! I have a tenner! Let’s go buy something to eat!"
The businessman looked at his staffer, and said, "Your act was selfish. You gave $10 to get $100. But that old man ... now, that was unselfish. So, I guess you get the $100 anyway, because you did show me an unselfish act."
Crestfallen at his own selfishness, the staffer called to the old man, and gave him the $100 bill, also. "Have a real party," he said.
In writing to the affluent Christ followers in Corinth, Paul reminds them about a special love offering that is being received in their region to assist the believers in Jerusalem who were being persecuted to the point that they were materially destitute. In the 8th chapter of 2 Corinthians he chides these well-to-do Christians by telling them how the Macedonian churches had given out of their poverty. He told them how that they had begged the leaders for the opportunity to share.
These were people who did not see money as important to them, but rather as a tool to help others. The text tells us how that before they gave money to the Apostles for their brothers and sisters in Jerusalem, they gave themselves first to the Lord. See verse 5.
When we surrender our lives to Jesus, nothing else matters. We realize that what we have belongs to Him and not ourselves. As a result, dedicated followers of Christ will give more to Christ from their poverty than wishy-washy followers from their wealth.
True wealth does not come from money. It comes from following Jesus with a committed heart.
This Sunday we begin a new 3-part series of messages that are influenced by the Thanksgiving Season. The series is called Giving Thanks by Thankful Giving. Our message this week will be Passionate Generosity (the grace of giving) based on 2 Corinthians 8:1-9. I pray that God will challenge each of our hearts to give ourselves first to Him and then to giving.
Thankful with and for you,