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Posts Tagged ‘tithing’

The one thing we seemed to master as children is the concept and value of possessing. From kindergarten on we have had to learn the lesson of “sharing” with others. This world, especially this culture, teaches us to think individualistically. We can take on the attitude of pride and entitlement with our valued “things.”

We hold onto things, and sometimes guard them with our lives. Out of survival, we can hoard our possessions wondering if we will need them.

Our culture teaches us to give out of the abundance of what we have. Generousity is measured not by the whole pie, but the slice that is given. We give because we “have it.” Most often what we term as “giving” is associated with money.

What about giving out of what you don’t have?

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

The widow in this story gave all she had without expecting anything in return. She submitted all she had with a profound sense of freedom from possession. This woman shows us a great example of how she lived her life not saying “mine”, but “yours.

Maybe she did worry about provision. Maybe it took her a long time to release those coins. But she did. This brave woman, already labeled “poor” gave all of what she did not have. She was not safe. She had no security net to fall back on. She gave out of risk and poverty. It means everything.

Do you give in a way that stretches you?

Giving is not just financially related. Giving out of what we don’t have can look like our time, emotion, weakness, struggles, and energy. Giving can look like being present when you are too tired. Giving can look like just believing when your frustrations of waiting are high.

Jesus introduced a principle of love in the gospels. He says, If you love only those people who love you, will God reward you for that? Even tax collectorslove their friends. If you greet only your friends, what’s so great about that? Don’t even unbelievers do that?”

I think the same principle applies with giving. If we give what we have, what risk is that for us? Anyone can give out of their abundance. Be different. Give what is stretching. Give what you don’t have, and even what you may not want to.

Giving out of what we don’t have enables faith. Jesus attributed faith to the widow who gave her last two coins.

For you, what does it mean to give what you don’t have?

 

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