Thursday, January 03, 2008

Ephesians 4:17-32

Today’s reading is one of those passages that is so straightforward and practical that it really needs no commentary. I confess that I sometimes read the devotionals without actually taking the time to follow the Scripture link and read the Bible passage on which the devotional is based. If you do that too, I’d encourage you today to take the time to read the Scripture for today and let God speak directly to you. A lot of subjects are covered, so what the Lord has to say to you may be different than what He has to say to me.

That said, one verse that jumps out at me is verse 28. Thieves are not to steal—they are to labor and work honestly so as to have something to share with the needy. It’s the second half of the verse that speaks to me. The reason we are to work hard and make some money is not so we can buy more stuff or pad our savings accounts or even simply to make an honest living, but so we can give it away to the needy.

The principle, then, seems to be that we work in order to give away. It’s a very different way of thinking than the way of the world around us. Yet that is precisely how this passage started, isn’t it—we are not to think like the world around us (for their way of thinking is futile) but to think in accord with what we have learned from Jesus.

Practicing such radical generosity would seem to be pretty good example of doing this. It’s a high ideal, to be sure—but then, would we expect any less in following Jesus?

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