Ohhh how I miss my mum. She was the best cook I have ever known – ok perhaps I am partial, but nonetheless she was an awesome cook. It didn’t stop there, she was generous and highly hospitable too. One of my favourites was the way she made patties… a layered pastry shaped in half a circle flattened down along the edges sealed with fork prints. The fillings – she had a variety of them… My dad is vegetarian so she ensured a batch was made with fillings especially for him. Thinking of them makes my mouth water… and if you find yourself in the same shoes right now, would it help if I told you that they were deep fried?? Once fried, the pastry would turn an appealing golden brown with bubbled layers. The inviting appearance was a mere glimpse to the treat ahead.
The hardest part to such afternoon teas, was the fact that her patties weren’t relished just by me alone 😦 Now that was tough!! She would make it time to time with afternoon tea – but then again inevitably someone one would drop by at that time and my mum (bless her soul!) would not only serve them but pack the rest for them, leaving us with not one but rather none. Without any for me!!! And as usual, once the guest leave, I would start my sing-song of whining… Goodness I was such a cry baby and a whiner!
Well, the usual rigmaroles don’t end with my whining either… She would remind me that sharing is a good habit and also that she makes it often so it’s not a big deal. And more often than not, I don’t get anything as she had such a generous heart. She taught me what giving was all about – it wasn’t left overs but rather the best… It was about giving what another liked, even if it was something you liked too.
Jesus commended the widow for giving the coin that she had – it wasn’t much in a material sense compared to what others were giving. Yet to the Lord, that had more value as she gave all that she had… Her faith in God’s protection and provision far exceeded what she could see with her limited decaying vision. God isn’t looking at the amounts that we give, but rather the sacrifice and the motives… Are we giving the crumbs, after we have enjoyed the choice parts and had our fills? Are we giving out of our abundance or out of sacrifice or a heart of sharing? Are we giving with a motive to get back from the recipients – favours or to score brownie points or for that matter out of obligation? Are we giving out of compulsion, out of forcefulness so to keep peace? The giving / sharing is of ALL the resources God has blessed us with – whether it be food, finances, material stuff, home whatever it is.. Whatever it is that we have, belongs to HIm.
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you,
so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work – 2 Corinthians 9:7-8
God sees our hearts and it’s no point doing it out of compulsion…. that’s not pleasing to God and we will then have to bear the consequences… The more we delight in God, the more our hearts will resonate with His heart and we will increasingly live a life pleasing to Him. Yes, we do have our moments where we slip back into the “I” mode… but yet it is the overall heart that God is looking at. God makes it clear that we have all that we need such that we may abound in every good work… And it is a decision that we need to make.
On the other hand, we need to exercise wisdom in our giving and sharing… Our giving shouldn’t be feeding into another person’s ill habits of using or scrounging or miserliness or even sheer laziness for that matter. Likewise, we should never take advantage of a giving person either.
Whatever we do, we need to do it as unto God… a God that is graceful and loving but also a God who is of justice, righteousness and truth!
He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. – Ephesians 4:28
Paul makes it clear the purpose of ‘work’ is so that we may share and defines it as doing something ‘useful’ with his own hands… We perceive work as employment and that is for sure included as part of the definition but that is not just it. In the broader sense of the word, “work” is about being productive (as how Paul clarifies it above) and as a Christian, work is not just about ourselves but for God’s glory and work as well as for the welfare of those around us… Work can bring about rewards or satisfaction of finances, of love, of helps, of joy, of spiritual growth… the list is extensive!
- Where is your focus today?
- Is it to store earthly treasures that will perish and that we leave behind and to enjoy earthly pleasures?
- Or are you Kingdom minded, looking out for the perfect will of God to see His Kingdom come and to follow suit on His commandments (knowing that has real benefits) of loving Him with our all and loving our neighbours as ourselves?
Both go hand in hand and will come naturally as we yield our hearts to Him 🙂
Have a blessed day!