A few weeks ago, I boarded a bus bound for my home in
“Two dollars and fifty cents,” I answered, feeling more than a little bit foolish.
To my surprise, he reached into his pocket and, without counting the coins, handed me a chunk of change. I counted the money, gave the man a quarter that I did not need and placed the rest of it in the change box at the front of the bus. After I found my seat, I looked for this generous man, hoping to thank him again before I reached my stop, but I was unable to find him. When I got off the bus, I discovered a single penny in my pocket, which I had forgotten to return to this good Samaritan.
Generosity is something I have tried to work on in my life. I sponsor two children in
In many ways, Christ’s words are harsher than those of Paul. In Matthew 21:22, He says, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's.” People often talk about how this passage should encourage (or rather guilt) people to tithe more often. However, money is not talked about this way in this passage. If anything,
A few verses prior, while showing the onlookers the coin of the day, Christ asks "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar's,” they replied. In answering this simple question,
People think that the church wants our money so we are careful to calculate and give 10% of our income. But if God wants our heart instead, do you think he would appreciate only 10% of it? Cheques are dead pieces of paper, and coins quickly rust in vaults, but our hearts can remain vibrant, effective to God, and useful to Him if we give them freely.
It is this vibrancy that Paul encourages us to have. The church generally hates 2 Corinthians 9:7 because most of us are not ‘cheerful givers’ when generosity is expected of us. But those who practice cheerful giving, like that man I met on the bus, know that they will receive much more in return from the true Cheerful Giver.
What can we bring to the Lord? What kind of offerings should we give him?
Should we bow before God with offerings of yearling calves?
Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins?
O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.