Generosity and Equality
Today, for the first time in a while, we look at the New Testament attitude to the giving of our money. It’s very interesting how little Jesus says about it! What he does speak a lot about is generosity of heart, and how what we are like inside reflects on what we do on the outside! So, yes, this is about our hearts! The other word in our readings that struck me today is ‘equality’. St Paul writes, ‘I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality.’1 As you read more, you’ll find he’s certainly not talking about everyone giving the same – no, he says, ‘Give in proportion to what you have.’2 But I sense he means all of us as Christians are called to bear the load of what is needed for the ministry of the Church and for those in need, together. So the need for generosity of heart and each responding in their own way is something we all share – as he famously goes on to say, ‘for God loves a cheerful giver’3We all need to find that cheerfulness in our hearts that only comes from a heart set free towards God and towards our neighbour. This is a wisdom found among us which I believe is in itself a gift to those around when times seem to be shaking. For as the New Testament affirms, ‘for we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken; solet us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe’4 May you discover the Lord’s grace to you, and build the house that is your life on the rock that is Christ.
1 2 Corinthians 8.13 2 8.11 3 9.7 4 Hebrews 12.28