You may find this hard to believe, but Jesus didn’t say when you have everything you want you should give a buck or two away.
What he said was, “You have been treated generously, so live generously.”* Or to put it another way, “Freely you have received; freely give.”**
For many years I have had sitting on my desk a wooden bell from Haiti. Carved around the base of it are the words, “No one listens to the cry of the poor or the sound of a wooden bell.”
There is a proverb in Haiti which says, “God provides, but God does not divide.” That is our responsibility as individuals and as a nation. Nowhere are we told to rewrite our tax laws to favor the rich or do away with government mandates to provide life’s basic necessities for the poor, to stop welcoming the immigrants knocking at our doors, or to turn our protected national lands and resources over to those who would rape them to line their own pockets. It is up to us to protect and use wisely the gifts that God has generously given to all of us.
In an article titled, “Sharing Our Stories: Naming Money’s Role in Our Lives,” Rev. Bryan Sirchio makes it clear that “We are God’s distribution system.” Sirchio explained that saying, “In other words, God has provided humankind with more than enough of everything we need, but it is up to us to share (distribute) God’s gifts according to God’s intentions.”
Our primary goal at the Faith & Money Network is to help you and I and every last one of us make the connection between our faith and our money. While that is a basic tenet of Judaism and Islam as well as Christianity, it is a connection most of us don’t think anything about until someone helps us understand that relationship and how God is calling us to divide and share what we have been provided.
May you hear in your heart the sound of that wooden bell and ponder for the first time or the tenth or the thousandth, what God is calling you to do.
Blessings on your efforts to live generously and give freely,
*See Matthew 10:8 in The Message, a contemporary, easy to read translation of the Bible.
** Matthew 10:8, Holy Bible, the Berkley Version in Modern English.