But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.
2 Corinthians 8:7, ESV
Guilt and shame are powerful tools that are often utilized in the world to coerce people to do what they want, but this is not the way of God. As we seek to be a light for God into the world, it is good for us, as the people of God, to have mercy and grace upon people that we see in need. God does not command us to do these things in order to earn His favor. We are never to give out of compulsion or by being shamed into giving either. God desires us to freely give and let go of the hold that some of our wealth may have upon us. In the early Church, each congregation would help other congregations in need for the sake of the Gospel. All our gifts are meant to be given out of grace. I have known, as I am sure many have, the guilt-driven speeches that people will put out there to almost demand that you give something to them. I have had people come asking for gifts, and when they did not receive as they had asked, I have been called many names because I couldn’t fulfill their ask but only offered what I had. We don’t give alms as a people of God to be seen as better in the world or to appease our God. This is done in other religions. We give out of our hearts freely and support the needs as we are able. We will not support all needs and, indeed, we cannot. The greatest gift we give is the faith that we proclaim and the hope and promise that comes from Jesus Christ. We give out of our abundance and shine Christ’s light in all things. Let that give us the peace that surpasses all understanding in the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.