Read: Deuteronomy 15:10
Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.
Over the last few months I have worked with a co-worker who has been challenging. Most of the time I have responded in kindness but there were a couple of times when I didn’t. I subsequently apologized for my actions, but their actions continued. I began to realize their behavior wasn’t about me or my performance but rather something deeply rooted in them. I turned to God and asked Him to forgive my actions and help me love that person. I’m pretty sure my prayer sounded a lot like when I was young and my mom made me say I was sorry to one of my sisters. I had a grudge and wasn’t really ready to ask for forgiveness or to love that difficult person. However, like my mom, God expected that very thing from me.
The same can be true when we give. We know we are called to be generous, but we really don’t want to be and, instead, give out of obligation. It looks good on the outside – but inside we know we aren’t happy about it. We may blame the church for “always” asking for money or assuming that a homeless person is just going to use the money for drugs or alcohol; all in an attempt to make ourselves feel better while we are holding a grudge. However, truth is that God knows our heart – He knows our grudge.
The reality is that this grudge is preventing us from receiving the blessings God has promised us. If we just let go of our ideas of what we think others deserve and open our hands to what God wants us to do, we will find we become a joyous giver. And those open hands will now have room to receive all God wants to give us.
“God is always trying to give good things to us, but our hands are too full to receive them.” – Augustine