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My New Phrase

May 16, 2011

The other day, I had the opportunity to bless someone financially.  I am not telling you this to brag.  Let me be honest and say that I am far from the standard of Jesus in terms of generosity.  I am growing in this virtue but still have a long way to go. 

What was amazing about this moment was that it was indicative of the way that Jesus is changing my view of possessions.  Only in the past five years has God messed with the way I think of earthly possessions, and He has primarily used the teachings and example of Jesus to do it.  I am, by nature, a selfish and stingy person.  Any generosity you see in my life has been produced by Christ.  Also, any generosity you have seen in my life has not come easy.  I have fought it (and keep fighting it) all the way.  My church must wonder why I harp on generosity so much, and this is the reason why:  it’s a sermon I need to hear, so I keep preaching it. 

The teachable moment in this event occurred when the person protested my generous act.  I immediately came up with a response in my head:  “God has blessed me with an abundance of possessions, and it is a joy to do this for you.”  But then I started to question the veracity of that statement with the teachings of Jesus. 

Jesus said it is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle (Matt. 19:23-24).

Jesus told a rich man that he lacked one thing:  to sell all he had and give it to the poor (Luke 18:18-25). 

Jesus said that you cannot serve God and money, and that one or the other would dominate your life (Matt. 6:24). 

On top of this, I know a bunch of people who are very godly who don’t have much to show for it in terms of possessions.  Did God not bless them?  Even Jesus lived his life in a low socio-economic status. 

One day I am going to write a book (or a blog) on the “Financial Principes of Jesus.”  I am pretty sure it will be on the “Worst Seller’s List.”

My new saying when someone protests my generosity is,  “The world is trying to curse me through the love of possessions, and I must give some away or it will work.”  Please don’t get me wrong.  I know that every gift I receive is from the hand of God.  BUT, if I receive a blessing and lack generosity in the use of that blessing to bless others, then the world will use my possessions to curse my life, give me a false sense of security, and my life will lack similarity to Jesus as well as eternal significance. 

Praise God for provisions, but praise Him even more for the provisions we are able to provide for others in the name of Jesus.

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