Occasionally a verse in scripture will completely catch me off guard and then do so repeatedly. There is a way that I sometimes read the Bible, looking for wisdom or insight about a certain subject or situation and I can usually be sure of what I will come across or what will catch my eye. Then there are times when I read a verse, pay it very little mind and then my entire life seems to begin to revolve around teaching me the very thing I hustled past.
One of the things that I must confess to is that I don’t think I have ever been that generous of a person. I have always felt that any generosity that I have displayed has usually been for my own “good vibes” or if it was done out of the right heart attitude I have always discovered ways to fit my little good deed into general conversation. I’m probably too good at the “humble brag.” (And I’m aware of the irony of admitting to the humble brag being a form of humble bragging)
But this verse, Matthew 5:42 is seriously affecting me. It’s getting into my thinking in ways I didn’t expect. Last Wednesday I read it in preparation for our weekly Bible Study. Working at Life’s Oasis I have had to become more accustomed to people showing up at our door wanting money or food or gas or something. I am even getting to know some of the “regulars.” I have found that most deal with them with much disdain and frustration and it is easy to see why.
The thing about this verse is that Jesus didn’t give any addendum or extra consideration, He just said “Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” It would have really been easier had He said, “Give to the one who asks, unless they smell like beer.” or “don’t turn away the one who wants to borrow from you unless you have a really good reason for why you shouldn’t.”
This is where the wisdom of God seems to really clash with the wisdom of man. We (Christians) have become so good at turning Jesus’ around, upside down and inside out that we have forgotten how to just follow them. My main prayer is that in my ministry and in my life, that I will never allow this command and standard to stop bothering me. I’m glad that it bothers me and that I have lots of “what about’s” This probably means that I’m taking it seriously, now I just need the faith to take it seriously enough to do it without reservation.