Give Freely and Openly (Fifth Ordinary)

Jesus continued, “You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t

think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous God in heaven”. (Matthew 5: 14 – 16)

When Beth unexpectedly inherited a large amount of money, she was scared. She had never managed such a sum before, and she was intimidated by the prospect of handling this responsibility correctly. Her future would be secure as long as she didn’t make any mistakes, so she set about learning how to invest wisely and working with trustworthy, expert professionals. And she resisted the temptation to spend too much of it!

Through the process, she discovered confidence in herself. She could make smart financial decisions. That confidence led her to want to do more with the money – she wanted to help people with it and apply her newfound savvy. She became a philanthropist and she developed strategies to maximise the effectiveness of her gifts – one of which was widely telling others that she was giving to. She found her listeners then started donating to the same causes. She encouraged women in particular not to give anonymously, not to be too humble about their giving – in order to help other women realise they could do the same. It’s not bragging if your intentions are charitable. Don’t put your lamp under a basket indeed!

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