Posts Tagged ‘generosity’

Give It All Away

December 7, 2016

“You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” Mark 10

Giving. ‘Tis the season.

The Magi were what passed in that day as combination scientist, astronomer, spiritual seeker. They spotted conditions that told them there was a disturbance in the Force. A baby, but more than a baby. 

They traveled maybe 500 miles, maybe 1,500 miles. But they didn’t just pop in an airplane or even a car. It would have been a sizable caravan most likely. Three gifts (we don’t know how many Magi).

How far would you travel under what hardships to give precious and costly gifts?

Well, for the rich young man, not very far. Actually, not at all.

There are people who give when they hear about a specific need. The church building needs a new roof. You just heard an emotional presentation about the plight of children or women somewhere.

Then there are the people whose very life is organized around being generous. 

I think maybe Jesus was touching on that idea with the young man. Sure you can follow the commandments. And, yes, that’s not easy. And it is devotional.

Something is lacking. Something called the orientation of your entire life. The status of your heart. Am I focused on me? Am I focused on loving my neighbor? (Remember, that’s Jesus’ second commandment.)

Most of us will give gifts at Christmas. That is no moral wrong. But what drives us? Tradition? Obligation? Generosity?

Can we say, “I give because of what I am”?

Listen to Wisdom

November 5, 2014

32 For waywardness kills the simple,
and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33 but those who listen to me will be secure
and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.

–from Proverbs 1.

Wisdom embodied as a person is talking to us. She pulls no punches. She calls out the fools and the simple–and the wise.

Those who go their own way, who live only for themselves and their pleasure, who know no rules, those are killed. Killed in the soul. Probably killed prematurely in the body.

But the complacent are destroyed. Those who have settled into a life that is “all about me.” The Baby Boomer generation were characterized that way by the early 1970s. Studies have been done and books written about the narcissism of the generation today.

I see it in society, politics and the church. Maybe I’ll give a little money to assuage my guilty conscience. Or maybe I don’t even have that little voice nagging in me anymore and I may donate a little out of habit. And I just live a life of comfort. Seeking nothing. It’s all around us.

The way of Wisdom

Those who follow the ways of Wisdom, those who are wise, are promised security. The ability to live at ease–without a nagging voice within us whispering we’re on the wrong path.

The wise are diligent, hard working, living in the Spirit of God, generous.

The fool mocks that life. In a sense, I did intellectually in my youth. But we learn the truth of Wisdom.

If you are lost in the travel of your life. Can’t find a path. Thinking that somewhere there is more than just living for yourself. Then find and practice the path of Wisdom. Find the joy of living for other people. Find the peace and joy of living the with-God life.