Almsgiving is likely the most difficult for us in the United States. We often have the attitude of “keep it, times are hard” of “I’ve earned it” or whatever excuse we allow our consciences to succumb to. When people have enough, they rarely think of it in that way. Enough is not enough, more is not enough.
Scripture call us to something else, to come out of ourselves and see that enough is usually too much. Lest anyone think I am just picking nits, know that I am probably the most guilty in this area. I have a good job, the bills are paid and at the end of the month there is always a bit left over for “a little something nice”.
This Lent is a resolution to do better, to contribute to the “ol’ rice-bowl” not from my excess but a a more painful place. It is amazing how much of a sacrifice cutting back on that cup of coffee or that movie or that dinner out can be. And, although, there is a certain smug satisfaction to doing so and placing the funds into the hands of those who need them is unavoidable, my strongest prayer this Lent is too learn to release what I can for the sake of those who cannot. Lent is only beginning and I am already struggling in this area, so neglectful have I been of this spiritual discipline.
Ora Pro Nobis!
Here is an excellent article on almsgiving. I hope it is valuable
Of the three marks of Lent — prayer, fasting and almsgiving — almsgiving is surely the most neglected.
And yet, in the only place where the Bible brings all three together, the inspired author puts the emphasis firmly on the last: “Prayer and fasting are good, but better than either is almsgiving accompanied by righteousness … It is better to give alms than to store up gold; for almsgiving saves one from death and expiates every sin. Those who regularly give alms shall enjoy a full life” (Tob 12:8-9).
Why is almsgiving better than prayer and fasting? Because it is prayer, and it involves fasting. Almsgiving is a form of prayer because it is “giving to God” — and not mere philanthropy. It is a form of fasting because it demands sacrificial giving — not just giving something, but giving up something, giving till it hurts.
Jesus presented almsgiving…….. Read More