I’m highlighting questions and answers from Daniel Threlfall’s recent interview of me which will appear soon on Sharefaith.com. Today Daniel asks me about one of my favorite Scriptures on giving.
Jesus told us to “sell all you have” and give it away. Is that wise? Realistic? Or maybe a bit too radical?
Wisdom personified, yeah. The rich young ruler thinks in terms of his receiving an inheritance—“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”–and Jesus responds in terms of his becoming the philanthropy of God dispensed to the world in Christ’s name.
As Jesus notes, it is not a one-time act but rather a daily choice one makes. The rich young ruler rightly perceives that this is a threat to his system of personal security which says that he can only care for others once his own well-being is secured.
But in Christ our well-being is never in question. He will always empty himself into us. And the more we become conscious of that deeply, the more we will respond by emptying ourselves into others.
The security comes from Christ’s constant self-emptying into us, not from what we don’t empty into others. We can’t take up a cross and a little bit of self-fulfillment daily. We either have to decide that Christ is going to continue to empty himself into us daily or he’s not.