No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions; he had money as well. — Margaret Thatcher
Don’t you love being friends with a gift-giver? These friends are special. They are detail people who know your drink order at Starbucks better than your barista does. And, on a day when they see you’re feeling down, they’ll drop one off at your desk. They are the card senders and handwritten-letter writers. They are the ones who spend time wrapping the present just right because – for them – giving isn’t about what’s inside the box; it’s about the experience.
If you aren’t one of those naturally gifted gift-giving people, it’s okay. You are still indwelled by the Spirit of generosity. Not only can we learn the way of giving, but we can thrive in it.
But material giving requires monetary resources, doesn’t it? Of course we can give of our time and talents, but Scripture also shows us that caring for people requires the means to do so. If we are going to follow the example of the Good Samaritan, we have to have some cash on our donkey.
“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead … But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was … bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. … The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’” - (Luke 10:30-35)
Yes, the Samaritan gave of his time and energy, but he didn’t stop there. Oil and wine were expensive. Two denarii equaled two days’ wages. And the Samaritan promised to return and pay any additional expenses accrued during this man’s healing.
Giving is better than getting, but giving requires you to have the freedom and ability to do so. So when you get out of debt, you get to give a lot more.
If you desire to give – which is a God-given gift of its own – let this desire be the driving force behind getting out of debt. Because generous people have good intentions, time, and resources at their disposal.
Sovereign Lord, the temptation to be distracted by what I don’t have presents itself daily. Free me from the lie that I’m missing out. If debt has its hold on me, I pray for perseverance to pay it off so I can give more in the future. But by faith in You, show me where You want me to give right now today. I pray for Your Spirit to lead so I can learn its rhythm. Amen.
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