Recently I was riding in the car with one of my sons. While stopped at a red light, we were approached by a homeless person. I averted my eyes. My son cheerfully rolled down his window, took money out of his wallet, and gave it to the man. He asked him his name and treated him with dignity. The exchange was brief. The man thanked him and shuffled to the next car.
Later, as I studied Luke 18 about the rich young ruler who encountered Jesus, I saw the whole exchange with new eyes. It hadn’t simply been a college student with little means giving a few bucks to a man on the street. I had witnessed a supernatural transaction. A Jesus-follower looked into the eyes of a fellow human being and saw a soul in need. Without judgment, question, or hesitation, he opened his thin wallet. As he reached out his window to place money into the hand of the beggar, he was making a deposit into an eternal bank account.
When Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell his possessions and give to the poor, he promised him treasure in Heaven. He didn’t ask him to vet the poor. He didn’t tell him to give his money only to those who would use it wisely. It wasn’t about what the poor would do with the gift.
It was about what God would do with an obedient heart.
Watching my son share his meager resources challenged and inspired me: What am I holding onto so tightly? And what blessings might I secure if I generously give it away?
“It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35, NIV).