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“We should be inspired by people... who show that human beings can be kind, brave, generous, beautiful, strong – even in the most difficult circumstances” Rachel Corrie
In the movie, Cinderella Man, Russell Crowe plays a failed boxer named James Braddock. When Braddock fell on hard times (during the Great Depression) he was forced to rely on Government welfare and the generosity of others to be able to take care of his family. But, after his situation changed for the better, Braddock did something totally unexpected. Full of gratitude for the lifeline that had been thrown to him in his hour of need, Braddock decided to give back all the money he’d been given – including the welfare payments. No wonder his life became a source of inspiration for a whole generation of battlers.
Money is not evil, but the ‘love of money’ can bring out the worst in people. That’s why Jesus spoke a lot about its benefits and pitfalls as He moved amongst the people. He rebuked the moneychangers who came to the temple to make money instead of to pray; he commended a widow for giving her last dollar to God; he chose a notorious tax-collector to be a disciple; he asked a rich man to give all his money away to the poor and follow Him; he paid His taxes from a gold coin found in a fish; he talked about debt, investments and being generous; and He allowed Judas to stay treasurer when He knew he was pilfering.
Jesus used money but He never put His trust in it or let it control Him. He showed us that the extravagant generosity of God’s love is a far better foundation for peace and security, than all the money in the world.
He said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust can destroy it or thieves can steal it. Rather lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth or rust can destroy or thieves steal; FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO…No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other or he will hold to one and despise the other. YOU CANNOT SERVE BOTH GOD AND MONEY.” Matthew 6:19-21, 24
God is more concerned about the condition of our heart, than the size of our wallet. We can’t take our money and possessions into the next life, but we can use them to serve Him and to care for others in this life.
The pressures and uncertainties of the present economic climate may tempt you to be less generous than you could be. Before you give in to this, remember that tomorrow you might be the one counting on someone else’s generosity
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