Our world has a growing disparity between those who have much and those who have little. The society sees this, and cries inequality and demands justice!
The answer that quickly comes to the mind of some is the “Robin Hood” answer; take from the rich and give to the poor! We romanticize the story of Robin Hood, the outcast hero outsmarting and outwitting the snobbish, wealthy overlords, gathering their hoarded riches and giving to the poor.
Yet, this tactic of pressuring the wealthy, to give to the poor, seems unfair. Many wealthy people have earned their money legally, working smart and hard to get it. Pressuring them, even extorting them, into giving it to an oft times dishonest government to spend, seems as repulsive as Robin Hood stealing it!
As Christians who champion the teachings of Jesus, why we do we relegate the care of our neighbors to the government? Here is an idea, how about just giving your own money and wealth away, and doing it on your own accord.
To highlight the joy of giving to my congregation, I hatched an idea; we would pray and take the Sunday morning offering as usual; however, whatever amount came in, we would give it ALL AWAY the next Sunday! I talked it over with the leadership team of our church and they wholeheartedly agreed!
We received the offering that morning, and for our church, it was awesome; we took in just over $1600. So the next Sunday, we took 80 envelops with $20 in each one, making sure that everyone who came received an envelope; if you were old enough to walk, you got one!
I preached a message on giving, and the Scripture lesson was from Matthew 6:1-4
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
I challenged the folks to; secretly get the $20 bill into the hands of someone you felt could really use it. We would find out later that some folks used the money to put together a meal for a family; another bought the fixings for a steak dinner and gave it to a family. One young boy, about 8 years old, saw an elderly woman in the grocery store and he secretly slipped the $20 bill into her purse.
The stories of that day filtered in over the next few months and it was awesome!
Additionally, it really made no sense from a practical point of view, to give away the offering; our church could have really, really used it then; however God more than compensated what we gave away!
As followers of Jesus, we have the title of ambassador, and we are to represent the Kingdom of God to the residents of this broken world; why then would we willingly give that task to a broken government; let us do what God has called us to do!
Go ahead, get generous and bless a family. If you have enough money to take your family out to eat; then wait an extra couple of weeks setting aside a tip near the amount of your dinner and bless the waiter or waitress; the expression of joy far exceeds the $75 tip!
Pray and ask God to reveal the name of a family that could use a blessing; and then follow through.
An amazing blessing is to take one or two hundred dollar bills and put them in a “Thinking of You” card and write a quick line: “I wanted you to know that you have been on my heart, and I see your need, I hope this helps” ~Jesus
Oh, and remember, your time is more valuable than money, your willingness to befriend someone and walk with them through life, is a blessing that is priceless!
Remember, you are an ambassador and have the authority to use His Name!
Go for it!
Be a blessing and be blessed!