Jan 23, 2013

Wednesday in the Word: Good Excuses Not to Be Generous

However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. For the Lord your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you. If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs. Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.
Deuteronomy 15:4-11 NIV84

Open Handed? Give Generously? Too often I am guilty of analyzing away generosity. I’ll hear that still small voice that says to give and I come up with my own excuses, not around the year of Jubilee and cancelling debts, but more along the lines of stewardship. “I can’t give cash to that homeless guy, he might buy alcohol.” I then run to Taco Bell and buy a combo to give away but by the time I get back to the corner where the homeless guy was, I’ve missed my chance. “I guess I’ll eat this combo… good thing it was the exact combo I would have picked!”  

I’m joking a bit here, but I do feel my heart in the wrong place at times. Instead of vetting every generous thought until it is gone, perhaps we should be generous on every occasion. Would God actually bless that? Would he bless me in all my work and in all I put my hand to?  

A prayer:  

Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart. Tell Him that you’ll do whatever he tells you.
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