God has been kind enough to give us yet another Advent season, and so we should be resolved to live in it as true Christians. This means standing against the spirit of this age. This means learning what Scripture intends when it says that there is a way that seems right unto a man, and the end thereof is death (Prov. 14:12). What does this mean?
The unbelieving soul is incurably religious, and loves to pass on pious strictures as though God had been pleased to create a tiny universe, in order that He would have something to be stingy with. Is it really that easy for pious Christians to get God and the devil confused?
No, no, in Christ’s name, no. We do not give anything up. We are privileged often to give things away, including ourselves, but that is another activity entirely. When you give things up you are acting like a son of the devil—he is the father of lies, and he started with you. The lie here is that God is a grinch.
When you give things away, they always come back to you—thirty, sixty, and a hundred fold. When you give things away, there is a person on the other end, receiving. What you are giving is called a present. When you give presents, you are acting like God. When you give expensive presents, you are acting like God. When you give unreasonable presents, you are acting like God.
But when you give unreasonably like this, won’t you run out? No . . . the one who supplies seed to the sower will continue to supply you with all you need (2 Cor. 9:10). This is why we should be dedicated to learning how to give in order to get, in order to give again. Wisdom is needed here, but it is never a stingy wisdom.
Below is a family story told by my progenitor Paul that was brought to mind upon my reading of “Not a Stingy Wisdom.” REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY In about 1918 while serving a pastorate in East Palestine, Ohio my father preached a sermon on the 4th commandment: “Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.” In the middle of the sermon, W.S. George, a prominent member of his congregation whose regular pew was located front and center, got up and walked to the rear of the church and left. This puzzled my parents for Mr. George was a backbone of… Read more »