I don’t know about you, but I’ve enjoyed following Chuck on his newish blog “Being Filled” (and, of course, I’ve enjoyed his interactive here and on Twitter). One of his latest posts is called “Give to Everyone Who Asks of You.”
Whenever I hear someone teach about this subject (or read someone who has written about this subject) they almost always begin with exceptions for giving or justifications for not giving. Interestingly, Chuck deals with many of these excuses in his own post.
For example, concerning the excuse “he doesn’t deserve it,” Chuck writes:
You’re right; he doesn’t deserve it. You don’t deserve it either. What you have is not the result of your own careful planning and managing. Everything you have is a gift of God. And God has just commanded you to pass some of that gift on to another undeserving person.
Chuck covers several other excuses as well.
But, I’m not concerned so much with the excuses and whether or not they are justified. But, when I read Chuck’s post, and went back and read Jesus’ command in context, I noticed something:
In every instance in Scripture where it is recorded that Jesus commanded “Give to everyone who asks of you,” he said that in the context of loving our enemies. Think about that… Jesus is talking about giving to people who oppose us… and giving them anything they ask from us. (There are other commands and examples of giving to people who are not our enemies, but this context was about giving to enemies.)
Again, I’m not interested in when, where, why, and how we may or may not be justified to not give, I’m simply pointing out that when Jesus commanded us to give, he was not talking about giving to people who agree with us or even to people who like us.
This is certainly a different kind of giving… If Jesus began in the context of enemies, why do we typically begin with reasons not to give?