Wednesday, February 27, 2013

An unharvested gospel

 
 
Sometimes, people learn about our character through subtle observation.
 
For example, if we believe that God has given us more than we need, we’ll leave some for others in whatever setting we find ourselves.
 
This principle of abundance shows up in how we tip restaurant servers, how we negotiate when buying things from relatives or friends, how we show grace toward someone who has offended us or even with how we make sure that others have a dessert at church dinners before we blindly add the last piece to the slice already on our dessert plate.
 
It’s not cool to have two pieces of dessert when somebody else is standing at the table, wondering where all the dessert went.
 
The life of faith is a life of sharing.
Actually, it’s more than that.
It’s making sure that others are provided for ahead of ourselves.
 
God’s voice is really the only compass that we can trust in this matter of knowing when and how to keep some for ourselves and when to simply give what we have to others.
 
I pray that you’ll ask Him for wisdom in this arena when it comes to your home life, your work life, your church life or your school life.
 
 
When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. It is the same with your grape crop—do not strip every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:9-10)

 
God was calling the Hebrews away from selfishness and into benevolent generosity. Yes, the people could take ALL the crops from the land they owned and had worked. But that didn’t mean that they should.
 
The harvest was a gift from God, obviously, and so God had every right to direct that some of the harvest be left for others as a form of Old Testament welfare.
 
For the soft-hearted person who cared about obeying God and serving others, NOT harvesting the field edges or corners was a visible way to display faith at the same time as serving others.
 
Listen, don’t be the person who squeezes and twists and coerces and manipulates others in order to get every penny out of the deal, whether it be in the restaurant or in the workplace or in the real estate deal or in the estate-settlement discussions following a parent’s death or in those difficult conversations when somebody is telling us they’re sorry.
 
Leave something behind for others.
 
Your faith will be on display in a positive way, if you do