“Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.” Ephesians 4:28
Most people work to pay their bills and to acquire more stuff. This is the motivation to spend 40 hours (or more) at our workplace each week. And we work even harder so we can make more money so we can buy even more stuff. It’s the American way, right?
Maybe so, but it’s certainly not the way of Jesus. His teachings were full of words like “serve” and “give”. Sometimes as believers, we have to shake ourselves and realize that the American dream is in direct opposition to the Bible. Nowhere in Scripture are we told to acquire more goods for ourselves and hoard up possessions and money. On the contrary, Jesus told a story about a man who had to build a bigger place to store all his stuff – and Jesus called him a fool.
I do have bills that I need to pay. I do require certain necessities to survive. But I desire to be free from the mentality of excess that society flaunts before me. How can I justify the purchase of another pair of black shoes or another purse, when there are people who are in desperate need, not knowing where their next meal will come from? How could I justify the expense of a manicure when there are men and women on the mission field who have left everything to serve Christ and could be helped by that money?
Jesus said that there will always be poor people among us. This is just the nature of things in a fallen world. But should it be that the poor are among us because we are too greedy to share and give? Oh Lord, let it not be!
Oh, the freedom of a simple life that abounds in generosity to others. I want this life. To be free of the desire for stuff and more stuff, and to have a heart that delights in giving.
Not working to prosper; not working to accumulate wealth; but working to give. Seems to me, this would be a very blessed life.