“…he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity”…Romans 12:8 (King James version, Cambridge)
I attended church on Sunday and the service was a blessing from the time of worship through the preaching (and hearing) of the sermon to the time of giving. The message preached by the Pastor was a wonderful reminder out of Luke 16:1-13 about the unfaithful steward. Jesus is talking to the people and encouraging them to be wise stewards. To manage their financial resources to help others, make friends and be accountable. Sounds like the advice we need to hear today? Yes, during these times of financial difficulty in every segment of society, we need more wisdom on how to manage what God has entrusted to us (not more money in all cases, but better management).
A critical part of being a good manager of your money is giving to others. This idea expressed by Jesus is so opposite of what we hear today in the world’s market. Persons find themselves becoming stingier, stockpiling excessive money for themselves and trying to get all they can get. Jesus talks about that too in the Gospel of Luke 16th chapter further along (see verses 19-31) about persons “living in luxury”. We better watch out! Getting more money is not the answer or the way of God. Being a good manager of God’s money because He gave it to you and owns it all and giving to others is the way of Christ.
So you may ask, why then the phrase, “give simply”. Because along with management of financial resources and good stewardship is a heart that gives generously, but simply. If I manage what God has given me correctly, I should always have some to share with others. The reason we don’t have something to share, even a little, is because we have spent the money on worthless things, things we don’t need or on luxurious items beyond our scope of finances. So when it comes time to share, it is either given in the wrong spirit due to poor management of the money you have; or given stingingly; or given with a lot of fanfare to be noticed by others (it’s about you and not about blessing the person, for instance). Proper stewardship and the ability to give to others is a natural outcome of a good steward (or manager) who in turn, can give generously.
During this Christmas season, don’t forget to manage your resources. Do not try to get all the money you want to buy things for others. Be a good manager of what you already have; God will give you more when you are faithful with what you possess. The good manager of God’s resources will also have some money to give to others.
“Lord, during this season, let us remember to give generously to others in need. Let us remember to give without fanfare or attention-seeking. Let us give without expecting anything in return, even kindness. When we give, let it be to You who always give so generously to us who are undeserving of Your mercy and love. Thank you for Jesus and for giving us the best gift of all – Jesus, The Son of God, Jesus, The Christ child who was born to die for the sins of the world. Loving You…., your daughter, Verinda”.