Day 149: Give Where It Counts

Luke 14:12-14 :

He also said to the one who had invited him, “When you make a dinner or a supper, don’t call your friends, nor your brothers, nor your kinsmen, nor rich neighbors, or perhaps they might also return the favor, and pay you back. But when you make a feast, ask the poor, the maimed, the lame, or the blind; and you will be blessed, because they don’t have the resources to repay you. For you will be repaid in the resurrection of the righteous.”

Once again, Jesus doesn’t tell people to “give until it hurts” like we hear from preachers sometimes. Instead He explains that if we want to make sure and get repaid at our resurrection, you need to make sure that you give to those who can’t possibly return the favor. Notice that Jesus isn’t suggesting that we do it without considering our repayment? Even Jesus, when He died for us didn’t do it while merely considering the loss, in fact He “despised its shame”:

Hebrews 12:2 :

looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Notice that it was “for the joy that was set before him” that he “endured the cross.” Christianity is not a religion of sorrows. It is a faith of hope for the future. We spend our lives today avoiding a bad future and preparing for a wonderful one just as Jesus did when He “endured the cross.” It is important to remember that by doing good works, we don’t get a resurrection. We only get to the “resurrection of the righteous” by the free gift of God through Jesus death on the cross. The “repayment” that Jesus is discussing here is the one we get only after we have already obtained our salvation freely and then go on to serve those who are really in need.

When we really believe what Jesus says here it gives us a reason to work hard and give it away because it will come back to us someday when it really matters. So, instead of “giving until it hurts” we should “give where it counts.” I would suggest not wasting your money on rich “Christian” television shows. Go find a neighbor who is really suffering and do something they can’t possibly repay you for. You can also give to a missionary or your Pastor, especially the ones who can’t possibly pay you back.