Matthew 6 (you should read this whole chapter first) Matthew 6
It is so CRAZY to read this stuff Jesus says about not worrying about money! I keep reading through Jesus’ teachings and I just wonder if the Church ever read this stuff!
The awesome part is that I woke up worrying about money! Am I managing it right? Am I paying off debts the right way? Is my budget set up the right way? Why do I act like I even have a budget?
Jesus flies in the face of all of that!
There are three times leading up to this section where Jesus says our prayer life, our donations, and our fasting should all be done in secret. I think I need to get unlearn.com and have a Bible study blog on there!
Pray in secret. Don’t make it a big oratory or a big deal. It’s valuable to God and you because it’s a conversation. If you get any value out of it being eloquent or by impressing others with it, you’re doing it wrong.
Donate in secret. If you are buying a stronger pride from the homeless man or getting a good deal on righteousness for only $50 a week, you are doing it wrong. Give away stuff joyfully and for the sake of giving it away, not so that you look good.
Fast in secret. If you go without something for religious reasons, don’t tell anybody. I wonder what would happen if we applied this to all of the boycotts the Baptists are known for. Wait, a boycott is the opposite of a secret fast, isn’t it? Think about the secret fast next time your tempted to tell somebody, “No, I don’t ________” Want to go bowling? “No, I don’t bowl.”
I think we need to fast from the condescending DON’T.
In all of this, Jesus is pointing the arrow directly to Himself as the SOURCE of all things.
You want your prayers and requests to be heard? Trust Jesus with your words. Trust Jesus with your prayers. You don’t have to pray like Maya Angelou to get heard.
You want some confidence and ego boost for who you donate money to? Forget about it. It was God’s first. He probably allowed you to get more than somebody else so that you’d share, so you’re just doing what He asked you.
Actually I don’t want to say it was God’s first. He doesn’t even deal in the currency we deal in. If you want to deal in His currency you have to go to the currency exchange at your local soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or the home of your neighbor.
And fasting? Oh fasting. I could write a whole blog post about how messed up I am over fasting. Like anything else, if we do it to get attention from others, that is all we’ll get.
Jesus is the beginning and the end of our ego, our good-personship, our confidence, our confused religious fervor, and our lives. Let’s throw off all of the wrong stuff we’ve learned and look at the things Jesus said all over again and live them out.
May God give us all of the worries and beauty of a flower in the field today!