In my last post, I talked about taking Jesus literally when he tells us to sell everything and give to the poor. One frustration that I have with the Christian American Dream is that sometimes we are urged, albeit unknowingly, to “hide behind your giving.”
Let me explain: Some people think that giving lots of money excuses them from actively engaging in God’s mission. I know that my heart can be susceptible to this. Americanized Christianity tells us that if we write a check every other week, then we are the senders, we are the givers, we are the ones who don’t have to get our hands dirty because we pay others to do it for us.
But what I see in Biblical Christianity is quite different. People who give are still called to get their hands dirty. People who give should still engage in God’s mission with their neighbors, their family and friends, their coworkers, and the pagan culture around them. If we trust in Jesus as Lord, then we are supposed to be on his mission, not ours. This doesn’t always mean going overseas of course. It means doing it in your city, your church, your workplace, your neighborhood, and your home.
In order to do this, we cannot accumulate money and possessions and call it “blessing.” When we make money, we give it away. When we get stuff, we share with others and sometimes even give those things away. But we never seek to accumulate. And we never give so we can say, “I give; they are sent.” Jesus said, “Go and make disciples” (Matt. 28:19), and Paul reminded us of Jesus’ words, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). This means everyone.
Let’s not hide behind our giving. We are all sent. And Christianity will never be biblical until we embrace that.