We Are Not Called to Give Out of Our Excess
“God does not call us to give out of our excess.”
These words shared by Amy Wong at a HFNY Sunday we hosted at Hope West Side this past weekend stopped my racing mind in its tracks. As she and her husband, Kevin, talked about their experience serving kids in Washington Heights through HFNY affiliate Operation Exodus, I reflected on how often I default to feeling like I don’t have extra time or extra money to give away. But it isn’t the extra we’re supposed to give from—it’s whatever we have now.
Jesus sought out those society devalued and marginalized: little children, women, the poor, and the sick. But society—back then and still now—values those in power, those with physical beauty, and the rich, and we, too, celebrate these values. In so doing, we are contributing to a system that continues to marginalize anyone without these qualities.
After Kevin and Amy’s testimony, Andrew Oliver, the executive director of HFNY affiliate Do For One, reminded us of Jesus’ words in Luke 14:12-13: “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.”
Andrew reminded us of how opposite from society and culture Jesus is as One who lifted up and befriended those ignored by everyone else. And he reminded us that we, as followers of Jesus, are also invited into this truly life-giving mission.
This is my prayer for each of us as we seek to fully partake in this mission: Lord, we pray that You will work in our hearts to enable us to give to those in need from whatever it is that we have. Teach us to love those in need as a result of what You’ve given us and how You’ve loved us before we loved You. Open our eyes to see people as You see them, and not how the world sees them. We praise you for this beautiful city we get to call home, and pray that, together, as Your body, we would humble ourselves to exalt Your name by bringing about restoration in places of brokenness.