After broadcasting a person's need for a couch over the air at our radio station, we found ourselves staring at something that once resembled furniture in the living room of someone who answered the request. When we refused the explosion of stuffing that was home for her cat, the woman said, "Well, what am I supposed to do with it now?"
Her "gift" to someone in need may be the extreme example of wrong motives, but her attitude resembles the attitude of the church throughout history. Although heartfelt generosity propels the gospel of Jesus, there is an underlying plague of corrupt thinking originally confronted by Jesus. As gifts were being given, He asked a question that rings through the centuries right up to each of us. "Who gives more, those guys over there who give out of their abundance, or the widow who gives a small amount, but it is all that she has?"
As a covering for our families, we as men are to teach those in our midst about the heart of Jesus by our actions. When referring to gifts and giving, we are stewards, not owners of everything we have. We are to teach others about the cross of Jesus by sacrifice, not by giving away our surplus. If a person has untold wealth and gives a seemingly large amount away, God looks upon the gift as far less than one who gives very little, but it is all they have.
Be assured that people who don't know Christ - and for that matter our children, - are watching us as fathers, and how we function. Without knowing it, how we act in every area of our lives is speaking much louder than our words. The freedom in which we give to others, especially sacrificial giving, broadcasts volumes to those who may not understand the cross and its work. People see Jesus in every cup of cold water given by us, especially if the water given means that we go thirsty. Are you ready to be uncomfortable?
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