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Charity begins at home - or online?

"They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12.44

Another charity extravaganza graced our TV screens last night. The tills were ringing for Children in Need, as viewers succumbed to the appeals and rose to the challenge, allowing our better nature to overcome our natural inclinations to hoard or indulge - in the biannual splurge of generosity (the other being Red Nose Day, of course). It used to be that people gave their tithes in church every Sunday but, as fewer and fewer express faith in this way, alternatives are inevitable if charities are to raise what they need.

Giving in the Kingdom of God looks very different to the public displays of largesse we are getting used to. Jesus instructs us to give in secret, so that the act/ habit does not become a matter of pride. He also makes clear that God is not impressed by the amount we give (because everything belongs to God anyway). God is more interested in the proportion of what we are prepared to share and devote to others, whether that is towards the mission of the church, protecting the environment, or providing safe toilets for poor communities.

It all hangs on our attitude. Do I possess my wealth or does it possess me? Do I have it on trust for the service of God and those in need, or is it mine to use as I please? Perhaps the answer to that lies in what we entered life with and what we shall take with us when we die...



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