Fearless Giving!

Luke 21:1-4 Sermon synopsis for Sunday, November 22.

This month we have been talking about Fearless Living, Serving, Sowing and today we talk about Fearless Giving. Giving of ourselves, our time, the gifts we have received from God such as the ability to sing, ourselves and our financial resources. Giving is something that is so much fun and is enjoyed by so many people who have learned the joy of giving. For others it creates fear. You will hear things such as: 

I’m afraid that if I give them what they need that they will go out and sell it and buy what they want!” 

In other words, the giver of the gift wants to be in control of how it is used. When gifts are given with strings attached, all the joy of giving goes away and fear and anger toward the recipient set in.

Everyone knows the stories of the Rich Man in the Bible and the Widow’s mite! And if you ask them which story they like the best of the two, almost 100 percent of them will say they like the story of the Widow’s Mite. She joyfully gave everything she had! She trusted! She did not fear. She did not get caught up in discussions of tithing. She probably had never heard of tithing, the old testament prescription of giving 10% of one’s income. She gave everything! Wow, what an example of Fearless Giving!

Someone has said that the way a person values the saving of money as one of the greatest virtues a person can have, that same person they rarely if ever experiences the joy of giving and you can predict that giving will make them unhappy, angry and fearful! Although they are unhappy with themselves for being so stingy, they are threatened and fearful when someone asks them to simply give without control and just give for the sheer joy of giving.

The biblical injunction of “It is more blessed to give than to receive” just doesn’t make sense.

Unfortunately our society has taught us to be fearful about giving. The story of our society is often not one of giving but one of grasping, of clenching, of stockpiling and accumulating. And once we’ve built up what we can, we’re told to hold on to it for a rainy day or perhaps to invest it—investing with the promise of a reasonable return for us, of course. We’re told again and again, that things could run out. If things run out, we must be prepared. We need to prepare for ourselves, and maybe for our children, but others can fend for themselves.

Much of our life is lived with a fearful giving attitude. We are afraid of losing it all! And the biblical injunction such as ‘sell all you have and give to the poor” is unthinkable and unrealistic! And we question: “Why did Jesus ever stay such stupid things?

Today, we encourage each other to be fearless in our giving! Share all the gifts we have been given and live our lives with trust that god will care for us. It is quite a hurdle to jump! But with a conversion about our attitudes toward giving, our lives will be freed up in Christ and we will become happy fearless givers!