Peter says in Acts “God is no respecter of persons”, meaning God does not show partiality. The world marks all kinds of status divisions, wealth, influence, age, race, gender. The Church as the body of Christ should be without partiality, but often we can be as infatuated with status as any other community. Our discipleship calls us to rise above and see the image of God in all.
Have you ever been honored for your contributions of time or treasure? How did it feel? Were you more or less inclined to give again?
Have you ever refrained from supporting a ministry or program because you didn’t like an aspect of it? What would Mary McLeod Bethune have said to that?
Make a list of places you give time or money. Ask yourself how you chose those.
List places you used to give time or money along with the reason you stopped. Were any of those about a need for control?
Pray about one place you could give time or treasure that has no benefit for you.
Make all of your giving for 1 year anonymous. Reflect on how that changes your attitude.
Francis of Assisi was born to wealth and privilege. Yet he wrestled with how to use what he had for others and what so much luxury did to his soul. Eventually, he turned his back on riches and chose a life of intentional poverty and service. His witness has influenced generations. Though we may not be called to a life of aestheticism, we can learn from Francis the truth that giving to God is as much about our own spiritual needs as it is about the needs of others or God’s requirement.
Can you recall a time when you gave something away only to receive an unexpected return?
Paul asks the Corinthians to contribute to the life of the Church by saying “that you might have the blessing of giving…” Do you view giving as a blessing or a duty?
Journal about the stories of your life that have shaped how you veiw giving.
Make a list of all the groups and causes to which you contribute and select one place to increase your donation.
Review your budget. Find at least one item you could reduce or eliminate and give away that money.
Eliminate one thing from your calendar and use the time to volunteer.