OVERHAUL OF A MINDSET
At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. Romans 15:25-26
When charitable giving is the topic of a Sunday morning, I can tune out because I believe that I am already generous. My mindset is skewed due to the fact that I am innately selfish. Unless I am like Jesus, willing to give up everything for an enemy, I know little of generosity.
Those in Macedonia and Achaia were non-Jews from wealthy urban areas in the Roman Empire. Their mindset was that Rome taxes the weak in order to fund the empire. Many of the Gentiles enjoyed their wealthy status at the expense of the Jews throughout Judea. To give back to them charitably, instead of take, was an upside-down idea. Jesus does that well. He turns everything on its end, making our head spin, reinforcing the reality that kingdom thinking is the opposite of everything we’ve believed to be true.
Who might be the last person I would consider giving to today? Perhaps my mindset has closed off my spiritual hearing. Could Jesus ask me to give something costly to someone I have, historically, been at odds with? He might. The question is this ~ can I hear Him if He asks?
New life in Christ re-writes old paradigms. I feel compassion for those whom I’ve hated. I give when it’s undeserved. I make peace with those who have been borne the brunt of generational biases within my family. The wealthy Gentile believers within the Roman Empire allowed a transformation of their affections for the sake of the Gospel. They sent Paul back to Jerusalem, not with news of higher taxes, but with generous financial gifts. With his arrival came the aroma of a Christ-like they had only begun to understand.
I’m in Kindergarten. Show me what generosity looks like. Amen