Pondering Matthew 5:42. Is Jesus serious about this? Do you have any thoughts?
I mean it’s not like I disagree with Jesus or anything but this verse tells me something that I not only don’t really want to do but even conventional wisdom tells me is wrong. Here is the verse according the the God’s Word translation:
“Give to everyone who asks you for something. Don’t turn anyone away who wants to borrow something from you.”
Here are a few thoughts:
1. If I did this I would have a lineup outside my door (literally).
2. What about the money I need for my own needs or even better for my family’s needs? Is Jesus telling me to give my money away when asked and then to ask others when I need money?
3. How inclusive is the list? Is it just money or does it apply to other things like my car, my house, my office, my tools, etc.? Is there a line that needs to be drawn or is it always “all in”?
4. What about the whole “give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day; teach him to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime” thing? Is that just a cute way of getting out of my responsibility?
I guess I can take the typical discipleship talk of denying myself and taking up my cross and following him daily but that is still pretty abstract. When it comes to my wallet, that is pretty real.
What has this verse meant for you? Do you even include it as part of your becoming more like Christ?
My thoughts are that Jesus DOES want us to give to everyone who asks but it does not mean to always give them what they are asking for. I think He wants us to use discernment and give to them what they really need. Maybe it is love, maybe it is help, maybe it is advice, and maybe it is indeed money.
Thanks for the comment Garry. It’s taken me a while to keep thinking about this issue. I think perhaps the key is stewardship. God is not asking us to give our stuff way, he is asking us to give his stuff (that he has entrusted to us) away. Whole different perspective!
Of course, if it is his stuff, then we need to listen to his guidance on the matter — which relates to your comment: sometimes we just don’t know what we need (or even want for that matter 😉 Sometimes we need money, but more often than not we do need something else.