A Generous Life 4- The Church Thing
When we start trying to live out Jesus’ teaching to turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, and give the tunic as well, there are some particularly difficult realities we must confront about living in community as the church. Church life presents some very specific challenges. Because we aren’t naturally generous, but selfish, we tend to take this amazing gift of the body of Christ and try to manipulate it for our benefit. Yes, we are willing to give, but only so much as we are repaid with attention, position, or applause.
If our ministry is to move into the realm of generosity, then the Holy Spirit is going to have to empower our spiritual gifts. But, if we continue to embrace the world’s power structure and limit our giving by what is fair, the power of our gifts will be diluted by our demand for repayment. We must embrace the kind of servant leadership Jesus taught. That is a service that doesn’t restrict our giving by anything other than God’s will. That’s because our giving isn’t a sacrifice, but an investment in Christ’s kingdom.
I don’t keep ministering because people praise me, or applaud. I keep ministering because I am investing my life in the cause of Christ. I don’t give the least necessary to feel good about myself. I give generously because I love and trust God more than my stuff. I don’t demand my way be followed before I pour my efforts into the church. I recognize that Christ is what unites us, not a style of song or the color on a wall. I walk away from the world’s “you scratch my back THEN I’ll scratch yours” attitude, and I pick up the towel and start washing feet.