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The not so bright side of Money

Be generous

This is a bold statement that essentially says, the desire or accumulation of more and more money can be wrong.

Notice what Paul says in 2 Cor 8:7;

"But as you excel in everything -- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in love for you -- see that you excel in this act of grace also."

Why, if they are so perfect, unless of course Paul is sarcastic as I believe he is, is he reminding them of the grace of being generous with what you have been given? Because it is the hallmark of the Christian life. If we look at the context of chapter 8, we notice that Paul is talking about the generosity of the brothers and sister in Macedonia who were giving out of extreme poverty. And now Paul is challenging his readers to excel in the grace of giving generously to others. And the reason for that is the example of Christ himself;

"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty become rich."

Jesus is the example for our lives here and now, his self-giving love and generosity should motivate us to be self-giving and generous to others.

View your life as a means to a greater end

Why do you live?! Why were you born where you were born? Why did your life turn out it did? Have you ever asked yourself that before? Some of us would answer, "Because I just do, because it just did" but is that indeed all?

Now I believe that very few who will read that blog will have a lengthy criminal record, but here it is anyway;

"Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labour, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need."

Many of us work so that they have a "good life," can afford stuff and to be happy. But given the fact that Paul is challenging a criminal to stop living for himself, but rather to live to be a blessing to others should challenge the common perception that we need to hoard or to build up a huge retirement nest egg or buy bigger houses. To be fair, our entire economy is built upon the premise of more consumption. But what about being called to be a blessing?

How often do we pass by opportunities to be a blessing to others by sharing generously what we have "earned?"

At the very least the life of Jesus and how Paul reflects on this in his writing here and elsewhere should challenge the prevailing view that we have to look out for us first, rather than viewing all of life through a Kingdom lens and stop idolizing what wealth offers, power, privileges', and possibilities because all this is temporary.

"As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share."

So whatever you have earned or own make sure it does not control you but be generous just as Christ is generous to you.



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