Selfish vs Selfless

Published on November 20th, 2016

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear “November?” Perhaps you think of Thanksgiving, no work, no school, a month until Christmas, or Black Friday. Of course, when I was growing up, we didn’t have a
name for the day after Thanksgiving. Now everyone knows it as Black Friday, when merchants depend on a monster sales day to help finish the year (hopefully) in the black.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with finding a good deal — or with saving money. But all too easily, Black Friday can cause us to fall into the trap of thinking that we need all these sale items — for our family and ourselves. Jesus warns us against this kind of thinking in Luke 12:15 (NIV): “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Perhaps we should take a cue from King David, who wrote in 1 Chron. 29:13-14 (NIV): “Now, our God, we give you thanks and praise your glorious name. ‘But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from You, and we have given you only what comes from Your hand.’ ” David understood God’s awesome love and generosity. He saw the joy in his people when they responded to God’s love and care by giving to the building of the temple. It was David’s prayer that their commitment and generous giving to the Lord would continue forever.

In this Thanksgiving month, we, too, need to remember that giving to God expresses our gratitude and thanksgiving and demonstrates our faith and obedience to Him. Just as Christ reached out to help the needy, so too can we use our lives and resources to do likewise. “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Gal. 6:10 (NIV)

We may not be wealthy, but neither was the widow who gave her mite. Even in our smaller congregations, we can support our church’s mission and ministry. By pooling our treasures of time, talents and money, we will enable our local church to spread the Good News of Jesus’ love and saving grace to both the churched and unchurched. And that’s worth remembering, not just in November, but all year through!

Written by Ken Schilf, Council of Resources
Taken from the November Lutheran Witness