As I read through chapter three, a few things stuck out to me. One of those things was Keller’s statement that “… we should spend far more of our money and wealth on the poor than we do our own entertainment, or on vacations, or on eating out and socializing with important peers.” Keller follows this statement by pointing out that Jesus wanted his disciples to give without expecting repayment or fame.
Being abundantly generous with what we have is difficult. Human nature makes many of us, including myself, selfish with our money, time and other resources. On any night of the week it is easy for me to sit back and think about what I would enjoy doing. It’s much harder for my first thought to go to “How can I be a blessing in someone else’s life?”
Tim Keller calls out our financial resources strongly in the third chapter; “…we should spend far more of our money and wealth on the poor…” In my opinion, when it comes to generosity, money is the easiest thing to be generous with. We all know how to be generous with our finances. We give large donations to churches and organizations and give generously to family and friends in times of need. However, Keller also calls out the need to be generous with our ‘wealth’. I don’t think he is saying ‘wealth’ in the narrow sense of the word, instead I think he means the broader term that includes all of our personal resources – our time, our skills, our love and our money.
Generous living in my own life
Currently, I am at a point in my life where I do not have an abundance of financial resources, but I do have ‘wealth’ to share. For years I have been concerned about social justice and helping the vulnerable however, I do not give enough of my wealth to help those in need. As a Christian that is trying to live biblically, I need to be more intentional about stewarding my resources generously. For me, this will take a shift in my thinking. Instead of arriving at each weekend asking, “What will satisfy my own desires?” I will need to think ahead and search out opportunities to help the vulnerable. I will need to sacrifice time with friends in order to give my time to other causes and individuals that could use my skills or benefit from someone taking the time to truly listen to them.
I know it will be difficult to give far more to others than myself, but I am ready for the challenge, are you?Image courtesy of Ed Yourdon / Flickr.com