“Let the thief no longer steal, but rather him let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”
Notice the three tiers of finances highlighted in this passage:
(1) You can steal to get.
(2) You can work to get
(3) You can work to get in order to give to others
Notice this also: Most American Christians (me included) live within the second tier and never go higher– they work mostly to get. They work mostly to accumulate. They work mostly for their enjoyment. The things we labor for are, ultimately, for us.
However, the Bible has a higher calling for us to live out in regards to our finances. And yes, it’s contrary to the American Dream you are ingrained with. Yes, it’s contrary to all the commercials and advertisements and billboards telling you that you need to get this and this for you. Yes, it’s probably contrary to everything you’ve heard about in regards to how to live a happy and blessed life.
It is that God’s word calls us to work, not for another way for me to be happy, or to be comfortable, or that my life would be easier and faster, or more fashionable, but that the things I earned would be so that I could bless others, especially those in need.
That we as God’s people, who have all that we need in Christ, and all our needs provided for forevermore under the provisions of our heavenly Father, would live life with an open hand.
That instead of shuffling through the cash in our wallets to find the most convenient bill to give to others, we would give freely as we have all received freely.
That instead of living each day trying to take care of my needs all the time, we would be people who are looking and actively seeking opportunities to bless others financially.
That we as empty vessels, would be the overflowing agent of God’s abounding riches, and not the spicket directing His blessings only towards us.
That the people we see around us each day could receive a glimpse of the generosity of our Father by the generosity extended through us.
That we really be, as 2 Cor 9 tells us to be, cheerful givers.