Eph. 4:28He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
So often I think I buy into this "lie", you might say, that I work hard so that I can buy things for myself and certainly my family. I work hard so I can provide for my family. And I do believe God does bless with many wonderful things as a reward of that hard work. But I guess my question is all that hard work just for me and my own doings? Is there anything else I can or am suppose to do with the extra?
The verse above is kind an odd one to me. That whole chapter, 4, has been talking about unity in the body of Christ and then goes on to discuss living as Children of light. Then all of a sudden the writer throws in an exhortation to not steal any longer! I am not real sure where that comes from, but I am ok with it - as if I have the right to not be ok with it - ha! Obviously there must of been some members of the church of Ephesus that were not pulling their weight. In fact they must have been stealing instead of working with their own hands - earning an honest wage!
But the tail end of the verse is what I kind of was convicted over. We work hard so that we don't steal. Got that and am good with that! We work hard using our own hands because we need to provide for ourselves and so that we can build a huge pool. Right? Well, almost.
There is certainly nothing wrong with having a pool (one of the things I so desperately am begging my husband for), or having nice things, or providing the best for your family - or any of those things. But I think the point of it all is that we work hard so that we can take care of priorities and give back over and over again.
My Bible referenced Acts 20:35 where Paul is again telling the people that the reason he worked so hard was not just for himself, but to give to others or "help the weak". He reminded those he was talking with of the words of Jesus - "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
All of our giving looks different. Some may give up some luxuries just so there is extra cash available to give with. Some may even add luxuries so that they can share it with more.... Some are adding to their families even in messy situations because they have seen a need. But the point I take from this today is that we are not given much to hoard. We are given much to take care of our own, but also to help those in need - even if for a short time!
Lord, I am not always good at this giving thing just because I don't know where to start. This Saturday my SS class is offering a free lunch to a neighborhood in Carmi that certainly is known for having less. So many kids in this part feed themselves or just don't get fed. It is very obvious and we vowed to not ignore it any longer! So this Saturday from 11am to 1pm we will be at Bradshaw serving a hot meal to anyone that is hungry! We have pooled our money together to provide "those in need". Even if you are not part of our SS class or even our church we would love to have you out there to help serve. Lord, may you be glorified!!