But I’m Poor and I Can’t Afford to be Generous
Objections do come up naturally. Perhaps we’re poor ourselves, or maybe we’re just not well off, living paycheck to paycheck. Or maybe we’re worried if we give up our money in generosity, we’d be left without a safety net. Well, let’s keep reading Jesus’ sermon. Right after he tells us to be generous and not serve money, he tells us:
- “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25)
- “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’” (Matthew 6:31)
- “These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.” (Matthew 6:32)
What should we do instead?
- “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33
So here’s the thing. So many people can say “I believe in Jesus”. But how many actually believe him? How many instead believe the idol called money?
Give Even if it Hurts
You don’t have to be rich to be generous. Or even middle class. Or even be able to afford it. Luke 21 tells us a story of a widow who gave her very last coins as an offering. Jesus was watching all the rich people dropping off cash, but those guys gave out of abundance: the rich could always afford it. But Jesus commended the woman, saying,
- “I tell you the truth, […] this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” (Luke 21:3-4)
Later on, James, the brother of Jesus, would write that “the poor are rich in faith.” He says that because they’re already relying on God to meet their needs. But this brings up a big question: who will God use to provide those needs, if not us, the Church? Aren’t we His hands and feet on this Earth? God has already put you in a situation unique to you, where you can reach unique people other Christians don’t or can’t or won’t.
Even if you are a poor widow.