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How do you give?
Cup of tea in hand, I sat on the front porch yesterday afternoon and thought about Proverbs 25:14 (New King James Version). My musings on this verse took me in two seemingly opposite directions: donating and the weather.
"Whoever falsely boasts of giving is like clouds and wind without rain," Solomon warned his son.
The matter of donating money to charity has always been subject of discussion and sadly it's also been fraught with emotions ranging from self-glorification to condemnation. That's not what Solomon said nor are those the reactions what Jesus nor a host of others meant.
The first question, then, is this: how much of my time, talent, resources or money am I supposed to give to church or other charities? The simple answer is that in the New Testament we're not commanded to give a certain amount. While many people use the tithe (ten percent) standard, others choose other options and while some donate to religious organizations, others contribute to other needy causes. Where and how much are not the topics of Solomon's admonition, one's attitude is.
Frankly, it's more a matter of how much I selfishly withhold rather than about how much I give; He's pleased with our offerings, no matter how large or small, when they are given out of honesty, thanksgiving and humility.
Today there's a faint promise of rain, complete with lots of clouds. We need the moisture but it's also a great reminder that while grey skies don't necessarily produce rain, so ostentatious giving neither waters the soul nor blesses the Lord.
If you have the money, give liberally; if not, give what you can because it's not the amount, it's the heart that makes the difference.
"Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how [not what] the people put money into the treasury...." Mark 12:41
May 28, 2018