God also smiles when we give possessions to those in need
By Clay Perkins
Saturday, March 9, 2019
“… see that you also excel in the grace of giving.” — 2 Corinthians 2:7b (The Bible, New International Version)
She made a beeline for me that Sunday morning. I do not always know what to think or feel when a church member marches straight toward me, the minster. Often the news is not good. She stopped. She opened up her hands and said, “The jerk left me years ago. It is about time this did something good again.” I looked in her hand to see the biggest diamond I had ever seen. So what did I do? I took it. I sold it and used it to fund Kingdom work.
While this story is true, sad, and funny all at the same time, it provides an opportunity to speak plainly about giving. It is no doubt that our relationship with our money and possessions matters. In fact, Jesus reminds us that wherever we find a person’s money and possessions — treasure — there we will find their heart (Matthew 6:21).
Many decades ago I determined to be a giver and not a taker. This meant that I would serve others and love others. I would share with others both out of my abundance and out of my need. Living life as a giver is more fun than living as a taker. It is holding our money and possessions with an open hand and trusting God to provide. And God is faithful to provide. God will richly bless us. God himself is a giver, and we want to be like God.
As a giver, I joyfully share in giving money at every worship service I attend. I am glad to write checks to the various needs that my wife and I have a passion to support. We are told that God loves for us to give from the heart (2 Corinthians 9:7). I, for one, am content when God smiles.
So why not consider giving your possessions from time to time and not just money? My wife and I have long had the habit, when possible, to give away our vehicles when we get new ones. It works for us. There are always people better off than we are. There are always people worse off than we are. So, rather than selling or trading in an old car, we look for someone in need. It is a joy to sell them an old car for $1. We have never touted this (until now), but recently we noticed one of our sons did the same thing. It made us smile to see our son helping someone less fortunate than he. And he did it with a glad heart. I wonder if the feeling I had was the same feeling God has when he sees us giving cheerfully and not out of compulsion?
Do you have some jewelry that could buy some children out of slavery? Do you have an old boat that could help fund a new building at your church that will serve others for generations to come? Is there a vehicle that has become yard art that could feed the hungry for several months?
Together may we serve one another with generous, godly hearts, with our money and with our possessions. And when we do, God smiles.
Clay Perkins is an adjunct professor at Mid-Atlantic Christian University. The opinions expressed in this column belong to the author and may not be those of the university.