Tuesday, December 2, 2008

For where I spend my money....

This is from the paper I submitted on Sat:

n Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus summed up the commandments to love God with all your heart, all your strength and soul. He also said to love your neighbour as yourself. When an expert of the law asked Jesus who our neighbours are in Luke 10:25, Jesus used the Parable of the Good Samaritan man to illustrate that our neighbours are not just physically those who live around us. It is anyone who is broken, poor, and in need of help.

Based on the Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, the two silver coins left by the Samaritan man equals to two months of stay in the Inn. On top of that, the Samaritan offered to reimburse extra expenses.

The Samaritan spends extravagantly for a man he did not know or relate to. As I was looking at my spending of that night, especially with the soft shell jacket, it donned on me how little I thought of my neighbours.

It was a cold winter night when I was sharing the meal with the homeless person. I ended off our conversations telling him that he should take care himself in the cold. By the time I left the conversation, my heart stopped thinking about him and his needs. I could have use the money instead of taking care of myself and purchase a jacket or winter clothing like gloves or hat for my neighbours on the street.

Do I love my neighbours as much as I love myself?

Though there are a number of actions how I used the money for the Kingdom of God was clear: sharing a meal with the homeless and Anita’s birthday present. These are also intent and motive I need to consider in discerning whether I love my neighbors as myself. A much preferred action in the decision to purchase the soft shell jacket was to use that money to spend on the poor.

In the book, The Challenged of the Disciplined Life, Richard J. Foster repeatedly advised to give money away (the Grace of Giving in page 42, Dethrone money on page 61, Guidelines for Giving on page 73).

In Matthew 6:21, Jesus said, ‘for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’ In this paper, it appears that where I spend my money, there my heart will be also.

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