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Giving of Myself

December 3, 2011

While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table.  The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner.  And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.  You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?  But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you.

“But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.  Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.  Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.”
Luke 11:37-44

I’m just going to dive right into this one:  I’m a hypocrite.  I tithe.  I give right up to the 10%, maybe even round up a few cents to make it a nice even dollar amount.  I noticed this when I received a giving update from my church last week, and saw that the total amount for the year ended in a “2.”  I thought that was kind of odd, so I looked at the itemized list, and yup, I’ve got weird amounts all over the place.  I mean, God would probably strike me down if I gave a pitiful 9.98% one month, wouldn’t he?

Then I started thinking… how much time am I giving to the Lord each month?  It’s far lower than 10%.  Then I got it right in the gut – how much of me am I giving each month?  I’m not talking about money or time anymore.  I’m talking about relationship with the poorest of the poor.  I’m talking about real, emotional investment in the lowest of the low.  Do I weep with my students when they’re going through pain and loss?  Do I grieve with my friends when they lose a parent or child?  Do I go out of my way to seek out the lowest of the low, those who Jesus went to great lengths to command us to love and care for?

Nope.

I don’t do anything even remotely close to that.

God doesn’t need my money.  Tithing is more about obedience than it is making sure God can get that new campus built.  But he wants to use me.  He has chosen us – people – to be his vessels in the world.  There’s a lot in Bible about being the (cliché alert) hands and feet of Christ, and, at last count, nothing about being his wallet.

How can we give of ourselves this Christmas?  What is something non-monetary and practical we can do to show Christ through our love?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. beth permalink
    December 4, 2011 2:00 am

    You hit the nail on the head Clayton. It’s great when our eyes are finally opened to the sometimes ugly truth of who we are and then we can actually begin to be a doer of God’s Word in a whole new way as He transforms us. Can’t wait for tomorrows installment…

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