Monday, December 12, 2011

So What?: a Lesson in (Christmas) Giving

Recently I read on a friends blog about a woman who had stumbled into their church on sunday. Alone and upset, she had heard about this church plant and wanted to experience it for herself. Her husband had recently been laid off and about 2 miles away from the church, she runs out of gas. In tears and in cold, she walks the remaining 2 miles, only to get to the church as service is tearing down. She asks my friend, the pastor, if he had a little gas money, so she could get home. Without reason, without question of "how much more does she need", without definition of her (true) intentions of this money, people began opening their wallets, cleaning pockets, and giving to this woman in need. All she needed to do was ask.

As I read through his blog, (100 Foot Jesus, ) I was incredibly touched by their outpouring of love on this woman. I thought to myself, that's what it's like to love with reckless abandon.

Often when we give, we don't give freely as Christ commands. We give if we've seen the business plan. We give if we know the vision statement. We give if they have outlined which orphans will be getting which shoes and which meals for how long. We still consider it "my money" long after we have proclaimed it "HIS money". We still keep this hold on it, as though it's not worth giving until we can confirm the cause as worthy.

What if we just gave for the sake of Giving?

How many times have you passed a bum, a vet, a stranded driver asking for money, and your first thoughts are "He's just gonna drink this away..." "You have a social security card, right? Go get a job!!" " They don't look homeless at all! Probably just a prank for cash." (yes, because it's easy to go roll around in the dirt, load up a backpack and stand in the freezing cold or blistering heat seeking handouts on the side of the highway...way easier than flipping burgers in a warm McDonalds...)

I wonder what would have happened to us, if Christ thought that before giving his life for our sins...

"What am I doing on this cross? They're just going to deny me anyway?"
"Im not dying for them until I know they're committed to my Plan".
"Why should I provide that job they're praying about. What have they done for my church lately? I mean, look at these scars! I have holes in my wrists!! I don't know if they deserve it."

The bottom line is...when you give, it's not about whether they've earned it, or they deserve it. Its about giving freely, because freely, He gave to us.

Try a little giving this may suprise yourselves with how good it feels once you kick those inhibitions to the curb.