What You Don't Know

Donald E. Messer tells the story of a man of substance approached to contribute to a major financial campaign. The urgent need and compelling case were stated, and the call was made for his support. The man responded, “I understand why you think I can give fifty thousand dollars. I am a man with my own business and, it is true, I have all the signs of affluence. But there are some things you don’t know. Did you know that my mother is in an expensive nursing home?”
Well, no, we didn’t know.
“Did you know also that my brother died, left a family of five, and had almost no insurance?”
No, we didn’t.
“Did you know my son is deeply religious, has gone into social work, and makes less than the national poverty level to meet the needs of his family?”
No, we hadn’t realized.
“Well, then, if I don’t give any of them a penny, why do you think I’ll give it to you?”
Like the productive farmer in Luke 12 who was ready to build bigger barns and take his ease, this man has a shriveled heart. Jesus warned, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).
With kindness and goodness in our hearts, let us give of ourselves. God loves the cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). That is the person who gives and is glad he gives. He gives with love and feels privileged to be able to do so. When God sees the gift, he also sees the heart of the giver. Let us always give with love.

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Phil Sanders

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