Tough Times Call for Generosity

In everything I have shown you that, by working hard, we must help the weak. In this way we remember the Lord Jesus’ words: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35 CEB

Being human is to be full of contradictions. Not any one of us is fully consistent in our habits or beliefs and actions. Sometimes, that is a good thing. Contradiction and hypocrisy can be the moral thing.

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It is no secret that the last four or five years have been tight financially for my family. In this way we are not unlike many Americans. Twenty-eleven was a particular challenge as I was finishing up seminary and my wife was cobbling together work to support us. We are still cleaning up the mess called 2011 and will be for quite some time.

A few months ago, my wife was having a particular struggle with our financial situation. In other words, she was freaking out about money. As she left for work, her stress level was high.

But here’s the remarkable hypocrisy: she didn’t hesitate to share what we had with someone in need. In her role as hospital chaplain, my wife is responsible for administering a system of disbursing small amounts of money to help those down on their luck. When the bureaucracy did not meet the needs of a particular man, she dug into our personal funds.

I don’t think she even realized as she told me about the debit on our account, that she had contradicted herself within the span of eight hours. The divine love flowing through her overshadowed her feelings of freaking out about money. She chose to be part of the unfolding realm of God, characterized by extravagant love.

God of Abundance: May we be filled with personal generosity for your sake. May we give generously assured that you have created enough for all of us. Amen.

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