HOLY HERETIC DEVOTIONAL-Dec. 28, 2016-THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR THEM IN THE INN
Compiled by Holy Heretic Benjamin Foster
“Have You seen some of these churches? There’s some that take up the whole block! There’s homeless people out there! Why ain’t they letting them stay there? Why they got gold ceilings? Why does God need gold ceilings? Why they got colored windows? Why does God need colored windows? If they took half the buildings they use to praise God and gave it to the people who need God, we’d be alright.” –Tupac
As we draw closer and closer to the curtain drop of 2016 and the arrival of the New Year, the world seems to be in dire need of one of the most important, if not the most important, tenants of Christianity, and a crucial aspect of living a well rounded spiritual life: charity. In the Bible it is said that God loves a cheerful giver, that it is more blessed to give than receive, and that lending to the poor is in the very spirit of lending to God. However, it is my belief that God holds us accountable for the practice of a very specific type of charity, one that is humble, unassuming, and holds the person being helped in the highest regard.
In Matthew 6, we find a warning against braggadocios types of charity, with the first four verses saying this:
“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest [thine] alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”
Basically, don’t give with the intentions of being seen. Not only does this type of charity undermine the spirit of God and of charity itself, it also takes the focus off of the person being helped and puts it onto giver, resulting in a lack of true results. When our desires to impress, be talked about, and sway the opinions of people becomes more important than our duties as followers of God, our lives can descend quickly into chaos.
This is on a personal level as it is on a national, worldwide, and church level. After all, how many churches do we see constantly expanding, adding auditorium seating, skylights, and a multitude of other unnecessary cosmetic touch ups to a “temple of God,” while God’s very people go hungry in the streets? This is not to point fingers, however, remember, true change starts at home. Will you accept your duty as a follower of God and commit to real, honest, and humble charity work, to change the world, in 2017?
Today’s Action: Consider how you can actively pursue some form of humble and honest charity work in the New Year. Remember, true change starts at home, and you have to be the change you want to see in the world.
Today’s Sharing: Contrary to how it seems, society would have us believe sometimes, we can share our works without being boastful in order to encourage others on their spiritual path. Share a time when you were led you to give, how it strengthened your relationship with God, and how it aided your walk on your spiritual path. Share on our Facebook page at facebook.com/holyhereticzine
** Don’t forget your gratitude journal at the back of your print edition of Holy Heretic!
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