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Such as I have

Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much. 
(Erich Fromm)

I have asked individuals what they have to 'give' in life - what it is they could share with others - only to find they don't believe they have anything 'worth' giving. That is indeed a sad state of affairs, isn't it? To believe one has nothing worth 'giving' - nothing they can invest in the life of another, nothing that would help the situation, nothing at all that they would deem of 'worth' to anyone else. It isn't 'what' we give as much as it is 'how' we give. God always reminds us that it is the attitude of heart behind the 'giving' that matters - not so much the thing that we give. We could give our time, but if we do so grudgingly is it really a gift? We could give our finances, but if we do it with a stingy heart because we don't think someone really needs it, is it given in love? 'How' is much more important than 'what', but trust me on this, we all have a 'what' that God is calling us to give!

Good will come to the man who is ready to give much, and fair in what he does. (Psalm 112:5)

Look at what our passage says again. Does it say that God comes to the man who is always giving much, or giving at all? No, it says God comes to the man or woman who is 'ready' to give much. In other words, God is concerned with the heart motivation - the ability may be there, but if the desire is wrong, the giving is really not what matters. God always focuses on the heart, because man's heart can get so fickle at times. We can get wrapped up in all the wrong things at times, making our heart a very mixed up and messy thing. Giving begins in the heart - there is more to giving than possessing something that someone wants or needs. There is this attitude of giving without strings - giving because it expresses the insanely large amount of grace and love God has lavished on this hard heart of ours!

Readiness to give is key here. We need God to help us move our attention away from the 'what' and help us to see more the 'how' of giving. As you may recall, there was a beggar by the waters one day as the disciples approached. He asked for a little hand-out of some coins because it was the only way he could support himself - his debilitating condition kept him from earning a day's wages. That moment defines very well the concept of the 'how' and not the 'what' of giving. Peter had been deeply touched by Jesus - his life had been transformed. His heart was grateful and filled to overflowing with the grace of Jesus. In that moment, he shows us that we don't have to possess the 'silver and gold' to give. "Such as we have..." is all we need! (Acts 3:6)

Readiness to give is a heart thing - it is more than what we possess in time, talent, or treasure. It is even more than our ability or capability. It is perhaps more about our availability to God than anything else. Our heart is only available to others when it is first available to God himself. When we open ourselves to him first, he leads us into opportunity after opportunity where it is clearly not 'what' we possess as much as it is 'how' we are possessed. It is the filling of Christ in us that makes us ready to give - get him in the right place in our life and we will be read to give no matter what we think we possess. Just sayin!

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