Do you know someone works really hard and then gives and gives and gives without expecting anything in return? On the flip side, do you know people who refuse to work, yet still expect someone else to provide for them? I’m not talking about political / social issues. I’m simply talking about character–the character that God wants His children to exhibit.
I know some of you are thinking about your teenagers! (Oops … did I actually say that?) I don’t mention this in a grumbling way at all. Teaching our teenagers how to work hard is part of being a parent. Teaching them to give generously without expecting anything in return is even more challenging. Some kids catch on more quickly than others. In fact, it’s a tough lesson for grown-ups, too.
“Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin, for their hands refuse to work (NLT). All day long [they crave] for more, but the righteous give without sparing (NIV),” (Proverbs 21:25-26, NIV/NLT).
We see a couple of things in these verses.
- The desire for more stuff
- What we do with our stuff
The verse contains the word “but,” so that means there is a contrast going on.
- The lazy person refuses to work, and if allowed, suffers the natural consequences of their choice. In contrast, we know the righteous person does work. It is implied because of the contrast–plus, they have stuff.
- The lazy person craves more. In contrast, the righteous gives their stuff freely WITHOUT sparing.
And then Jesus took the lesson even further with this zinger. It is here that we reflect the Lord more closely: Giving generously to those we don’t get along with.
“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked,” (Luke 6:35, NLT).
As part of my “living WITHOUT” for 31 days, I had planned to throw away or give away a few items each day. I have been so busy with my girls’ color guard activities this weekend, as well as the launch of #write31days, that I completely overlooked this. In the course of writing this oh, so brief post, the Lord reminded me of my commitment. (If you haven’t read my why’s for this series, you can do so on my 31 Days Landing Page.)
SO. Beginning today (and backing up a few days) I start scaling down and giving things away. As I do, I am praying that God will show me exactly what items He wants me to share. I’m expecting that He will put His finger on a few items that I treasure. I’m praying I release them with a willing heart, expecting nothing in return.
Moving forward, I want to hold “my stuff” loosely, ready to give without expecting anything in return. Come with me! This pleases God!
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