Monday, July 9, 2012

Not Willing to Leave Things for Needy

And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.  And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.  and He called unto Him His disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in out of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.  Mark, Chapter 12, verses 41-44.

I get very self-righteous thinking about how I do nice things for people and donate to the needy.  I was on a work mission with our church’s youth group in Juarez, Mexico.  Someone in the group told us how they were going to leave behind their clothes to donate to the people of that community.  I thought about it awhile and decided it was a nice thing to do.  So, I looked at things I didn’t mind donating.  Basically, they were the things more worn and less desirable.  Then this passage flashed back in my mind, and I realized I was only giving to others out of my excess where it still felt comfortable.  I was not giving to others out of my need.  It took me a long time and a lot of prayer with God as I agonized over this-mostly because my favorite nightgown was in my suitcase.
If I had just left a few things to donate to the people of the community, no one would have been the wiser.  If I had donated everything I owned except my favorite nightgown, no one would have even known, but God and I knew.  The thing that bothered me the most was how long it took before I was finally willing to leave all my things for the needy.  It showed me how worldly I had become.  That certain possessions mattered to me, appalled me, because I had always prided myself in being a “Good Christian.”
Obviously, we can fool ourselves.  I’m so thankful that God provided this opportunity for personal growth.  I still find it easier to give to others out of the excesses of my time, money and possessions.  I have to be reminded that I’m not truly giving until I give out of my need, or at least closer to it.
Here are some related passages:
*And He looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.  And He saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.  And He said, Of a Truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.  Luke, Chapter 21, verses 1-4.
*But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.  2 Corinthians, Chapter 9, verses 6-8.
*And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.  Use hospitality one to another without grudging.  1 Peter, Chapter 4, verses 8-9.
*For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.  Deuteronomy, Chapter 15, verse 11.
*He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.  Proverbs, Chapter 28, verse 27.

Because this example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life only focused on a portion of the passages, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passages.

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

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