How many times have you heard people make these jokes about men?
-He’s so cheap his wallet creaks when it opens
-He’ so cheap he won’t even tip his hat
-He’s so cheap he eats beans to save money on bubblebath
-He’s so cheap he won’t even pay attention
This description of men, while often accurate, is not a description that should fit a godly man. God’s man should never be stingy. They do need to handle money properly and wisely, but stingily? Never! So how should a man be when it comes to money?
Our old pal John has an answer for us. Let’s look again at some more real meat that John has for us in 1 John 3:17-18.
17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
For the past few verses, John has been discussing the different ways we demonstrate love, which he says is the number one sign of a child of God. In this verse, he challenges us all where it hurts the most…our wallets.
Now, before we look at what John is saying in this passage, let’s look at what he is not saying. First, John is not saying we can buy our salvation. We can’t earn God’s favor or buy a loving reputation. He would never imply this, because it isn’t true. He isn’t a tele-evangelist preaching a prosperity message if you give monthly support.
He also is not talking about tithing. This passage has nothing to do with tithing. I am sure John assumes God’s men are being obedient and tithing. He is going past tithing and looking more at our generosity. Tithing isn’t being generous, it is being grateful and obedient.
Finally, John is not talking about feeling sorry for people. When he says “have pity on them”, he is not saying that we should feel sorry for them. We should have pity, but he wants us to go beyond emotion to action. Feeling bad for someone’s struggles doesn’t do any good if you don’t DO SOMETHING about it!
That’s what John is talking about…action! We need to go beyond the emotions of pity to the action of helping. We need to let compassion stoke generosity and action. We need to help! Seeing a need and feeling bad for someone is pointless, doing something to help them is being a godly man!
That is the real meat John is sharing with us this month! We can’t be stingy men or cheap men. But beyond the money aspect, we have to be men of action who see a need and do what it takes to help. It is what Jesus would do, and we need to strive to be like Jesus!
You may think, “I agree with you, but I am not rich, how can I afford it?” My reply is “How can you afford not to be generous and help others in need?”
The best way to say it is to quote my Pastor who says, “You can never out give God”. When you are a generous man who gives, God will reward you, especially when you give out of your own need, aka, when you can’t afford it.
So how are some ways we can put this into action? How can we go from seeing a need and feeling sorry for the person to stepping up and helping?
The possibilities are endless! Some ways would be:
-Donate both time and money to a local food kitchen
-“Adopt” a single mom in your church who is struggling by faithfully helping her financially. A fun way to do it is anonymously so she has no clue who it it…that way God gets all the glory and she sees that even though her husband abandoned her, God never will.
-Instead of trading in an old car when you get a new one, give it to someone who is struggling financially. Again, a single mom would love a car she didn’t have to pay for out of her limited budget.
-Adopt a missionary and financially help them out. Missionaries always need support as they serve overseas.
-Become a Light for the Lost councilman. This is someone who monthly donates to LFTL so they can provide resources and Bibles for missionaries and curriculum for Teen Challenge.
-Anonymously fill the home oil heating tank of a widow in your church who is struggling financially.
These are just some of MANY ways you can put your love into action. The point is that feeling pity for someone is pointless if you don’t go into action to help. Be creative! Ask the Holy Spirit, I know He will show you ways to give.
There are needs all around. A godly man sees the need and acts. John understood this, and it is a lesson we need to learn as well. We can’t have squeaky wallets, we must be generous men. We need to begin today!