For work, I had to read (well, GOT to read) Shane Claiborne’s book, Irresistible Revolution and it put flesh to a lot of the things God has been showing me. Funny, I was just talking to my wife about this the other day as we walked into the store. We were talking about how we are supposed to know how much money to give to people and it hit me.
I’m sure we all know God wants us to give. The easy thing is to just send a check in the mail to an organization. But I’m pretty sure that’s not what God had in mind. What I think he had in mind was that we would be involved in the lives of others and the needs He wants us to meet would arise right before our eyes. Sending a check in the mail (or even money in the offering plate) gives us no opportunity for relationships. Jesus said when you serve the least of these you serve me. How can we interact with Jesus through a mail-in transaction?
So, back to the book… I was reading it this morning and came across this quote from Irresistible Revolution:
“We wrestle to free ourselves from macrocharity and distant acts of charity that serve to legitimize apathetic lifestyles of good intentions but rob us of the gift of community.”
My sentiments, exactly. Earlier in the book Shane says something to the affect of… “the problem is not that Christians don’t care about poor people, the problem is that Christians don’t know any poor people.” And I think we can expand what we mean by “poor” to include spiritually poor, relational and emotionally poor, etc.
Do you know any poor people? Do you know anyone who is poor in relationships (has no real friends). What if God wanted us to knock on their door and find a way into their life so we could bring them true riches – hope and purpose through Jesus?