Friday, April 23, 2010

Good Intentions

“As soon as I get caught up, by-golly, I am going to give to that organization!”
“I’m almost at the point whereby I can really give to those in need!”
“I wonder why the rich people don’t give more? If I had what he or she has I would certainly would be willing to give!”

We tend to judge others by there actions and ourselves by our intentions. And yet, it is not the amount that is most important - it is the attitude of giving.

I was struck by the Apostle Paul’s writing in his second letter to the church of Corinth. Much of his letter was focused upon - promises that the people within the church were making - their good intensions - and the need for the members of the church at Corinth to follow through - WITH ACTION! Paul was admonishing the people, “TALK IS CHEAP!”

Paul sent emissaries to the church to encourage the people to follow through with their good intentions. His focus was not so much upon those who were in need and required the gifts of the church. Paul focused upon those who “intended” to do something - but did not follow through.

“Now, about the offering that is [to be made] for the saints - God’s people [in Jerusalem] - it is quite superfluous that I should write you. For I am well acquainted with your willingness - your readiness and your eagerness to promote it. And I have proudly told about you to the people of macedonia, saying that Achaia [most of Greece] has been prepared since last year for this contribution; and [consequentially] your enthusiasm has stimulated the majority of them.... Still, I am sending the brethren [on you], lest our pride in you should be made an empty boast in this particular case, and so that you may be ready, as I told them you would be. Lest, if [any] Macedonians should come with me and find you unprepared [for this generosity], we , to say nothing of yourselves, be humiliated for our being so confident.” - 2 Corinthians 9:1-4

In the next verses Paul focuses his attention upon the blessings awaiting those who follow through and give; not until it “hurts” but until it feels good! The spiritual and physical fulfillment is immeasurable!


Paul also paints a word picture of the dire consequences of promises not kept. Unlike heart rendering television commercials showing men women and children suffering from malnutrition, disease and exposure, Paul focuses upon the the consequences of “well-intending givers” should they boast of their intentions and then recline in their Lazy-boys never to accomplish a thing.

The point has been made. Perhaps there is a cause you have been considering but have yet to take appropriate action. Now is a wonderful time to enjoy the blessings of giving. Perhaps you have heard yourself repeatedly saying, “if I only had - then I would certainly give...”. Is there any reason why today is not the day you begin to faithfully give whatever it is you can give?

In Luke, chapter 21 verses 1 through 4 Luke records how Jesus looked up and noticed the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. We might assume that they did so in a manner intended to be noticed by those passing by. Looking closely, however, Jesus also noticed a particular poor widow who [we might suppose] humbly slipped in her two small copper coins.

“And He said, ‘Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them. For they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty, put in all that she had to live on.” - Luke 21:3-4

Consider the blessings we have today and willingly, readily and eagerly give. It is impossible to out-give God.

Enjoy the blessing!

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed your post. Heard an interesting quote the other day that I thought you would enjoy -- (it kinda' follows along the same lines as your blog), "The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention." Have a great weekend.