Christianity 401: Give to Everyone
Let’s continue our “Graduate Level Christianity” by looking closely at some more of Jesus’s toughest teachings - His relational commands for us, most of which are found in Luke 6, verses 27-36. Jesus’s next command teaches generosity: “Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods, do not demand them back” (Luke 6:30). We are to give freely to those who have genuine needs, without expecting - or wanting - repayment. There is great joy in the act of giving when we do so with pure motives. Jesus said so Himself, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). And while we can’t always control where or how our gifts are used by others, we can control how we respond to the Holy Spirit when He prompts us to give. My wife, Marilynn, often gives to those begging on the street. She knows she can’t control where they will spend the money, but she doesn’t concern herself with that. She is obedient to the Spirit, following His promptings as He directs her. She believes they alone are responsible before God if they are using the gift in harmful ways. For those of you uncomfortable giving cash to those begging, there are alternatives. Purchase gift cards instead. Give bus tickets, or a bag of non-perishable food. Or share and point them to community organizations that provide help and support. The point is to give. God wants us to give generously and freely to those who have genuine needs - both locally and globally. After all, God has been so generous to us with the gift of Jesus. All that we have is a gift from Him. Our generosity to others merely reflects God’s generosity to us. That was Jesus’s point in this teaching.