Give to everyone who asks you – Luke 6:30
How do you demonstrate your love for God and commitment to your way of faith? Each stream of faith uses distinct teachings and practices to prod their faithful to represent a certain culture to the world around them. When it comes to faith, identity should never be a guessing game. People should be able to clearly know what you believe by watching the way you live.
Jesus grew up in a faith stream and at a time when the religious leaders were promoting three particular activities as the most important ways to publicly display righteous living – fasting, prayer and almsgiving. While most people today are familiar with fasting and prayer, almsgiving has lost popularity in many circles.
Almsgiving is the practice of carrying something with you for the purpose of giving it away. In Jesus’ day, many pious people would actually carry a purse with them that had an amount of money or food in it that they were prepared to give away to anyone who asked for help.
As part of Origins Community, your faith should drive you to be interested in the people right in front of you, inspired to explore others’ needs and engaged in serving your community. We demonstrate our love for God and commitment to our faith by loving each person we cross paths with. We should approach every moment of everyday as an opportunity to give as a demonstration of love – and in this way, we could learn a lot from those who practice almsgiving.
What would happen if we all made a rhythm of carrying a “purse” with us every day that was filled with not only money, but also our prepared willingness to share something (time, resource, wisdom, listening) with the people we interact with? Almsgiving – the practice of giving from our preparedness – leaves little doubt in the minds of those watching that our faith – our love for God – is centered on loving people.
This week, make almsgiving a rhythm of your life by purposefully preparing to give something to those who ask.
Get creative with this rhythm, but don’t miss out on the power of its traditional purpose either. For some, keeping some cash on you to give to the next person who asks for some spare change can be a powerful way to experience the kind of open-handed generosity Jesus taught and expressed through his life.
But beyond just cash or the traditional expressions of almsgiving, take some time to ask God what you can prepare to give. Ask him to help you keep your eyes open, your mind ready and your heart open to give to anyone who asks.