by Kathy Matuschka
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‘Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God … for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else’ (2 Corinthians 9:13).
In the newspaper, I read projections of the financial impact of the coronavirus on the poorest people in the world, as many, many people move into a state of extreme poverty. Here I sit in Australia, one of the most fortunate of the fortunate ones – not personally affected even by drought, bushfire or loss of employment. How can I hope to make a dent in the horrific statistics? How can I practise wise generosity?
On the global scale, we can each play our part, and we have organisations like Australian Lutheran World Service which manage our contributions wisely. Sometimes on the local scale, it is trickier because we know the complexity of our neighbours’ situations. The voice of judgement can compete with the call of God’s Spirit, making us slower to open our hearts and our hands. Or sometimes we are just so busy that we do not slow down long enough to notice and respond to the needs around us.
We will not defeat poverty and injustice on this earth, but we participate in letting God’s kingdom come, and so we pray for wise, generous, obedient hearts. As we do ‘the next right thing’, this transforms us so that we are ready to do the following right thing. If you are like many other faithful Christians, the plan will only be clear as you look back.
Dear loving God, may I live a life of such wise generosity that, although your plan for my life may appear fuzzy just now, the view looking back will be breathtaking! In Jesus’ name, Amen.