Be Generous with Sawdust Specks

GodReflection: It’s Jesus Friday

garyguarujaThe more I think about it the more I begin to see that I’ve had Jesus’ teachings on generosity wrong. I’ve only felt guilty about money. Perhaps there is a lot more to feel guilty about.

Jesus had a sermon so important that he preached it twice. The first time his pulpit was on the side of a mountain and the second time his lectern was on a plain.

generosity10Matthew recorded the first in his gospel and Luke recorded the second sermon in his.

After a gazillion readings across the pages of time—in both public and private venues—the sermon continues to challenge its hearers to mirror the heart of God.

I live in a world where economic gain is high on the value list. Gold rules far too many arenas of life. It is from within the context of a wealthy nation that I read from Jesus’ Sermon:

 “ . . . Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38).

Sounds to me like he’s talking about money. However, a closer look at the sermon shows Jesus’ target is not money.

generosity9The generosity that concerns Jesus is the generosity generated from a heart like the Fathers.

That kind of generosity applies to love, prayer, and to any need others might have who cross my path.

I am to generously apply the reflection of Jesus’ heart to anyone who is my enemy. I am to be generous in mercy and forgiveness.

Now, here comes the application for us hypocrites.

generosity1Jesus uses a cartoon analogy of one with a log stuck in his/her eye judging fellow sinners over a speck of sawdust under an eyelid. He wants me to be sharp enough to get the point that I am to be generous with other’s specks of sawdust.

How is it that I can accept God’s generosity in offering me forgiveness with all of the fault-chucks and missteps I make and then stand ready to pounce upon the specks of sawdust generated by a brother or sister in Jesus?

It seems like that places a whole new light on dissecting oversights, missteps, worship services, preaching, opinions, and actions of another Christ follower.

Could demonstrating Jesus’ generosity by overlooking specks be the remedy for all division among Jesus followers?

generosity5Jesus didn’t limit his tree analogy to logs and sawdust. He stays with his lesson from the trees as he moves to live trees that produce good fruit.

Figs, grapes, and good hearts only come from good trees.

Good produces good.

The mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Jesus wants my heart to be filled with generosity.

Generosity is Jesus’ doctrine.

In summation of his sermon he contrasts two builders.

generosity8The one who puts Jesus’ words into life’s walk is like one who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. That sort of generous life will withstand the storms.

The contrast builder is the one who withholds generosity. That life will collapse in complete destruction.

Generosity is to get Jesus right.

Right Jesus makes right doctrine. I suspect the Father smiles each time I get this doctrine right, don’t you think?

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells – A GodReflection on Generosity is Jesus Doctrine.

This entry was posted in God Reflection, It's Jesus Friday by Dr. Gary Sorrells. Bookmark the permalink.

About Dr. Gary Sorrells

From birth to death, I am God-wired. My body is not as energized as in earlier times, yet as my soul runs toward the finish line it carries a dream. I want to give glory to God by writing. Only now is the timing right to lean hard into this gift from God. For the first time in life, the totality of my God walk with family, the church, academic training, work experience, life scars, and accrued wisdom, provides value to share through the written word. It is as if all of the trails of life are crossing at this point. My formal education includes the B.A., M.A. and the Doctor of Ministry degrees in Bible from Abilene Christian University. Between 1980 and 2011, I worked with the Non-Profit entity, Great Cities Missions. I currently serve as Director Emeritus and as a member of the Board of Trustees. -Gary J Sorrells

2 thoughts on “Be Generous with Sawdust Specks

  1. I’m reminded that Eli and Samuel’s sons both went off track for “gain” among other things. There was a time Israel wanted a king (just like the other nations) and Samuel warned them about how the king would demand a “tithe”. Jeremiah recounts “For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is greedy for gain, And from the prophet even to the priest Everyone deals falsely.” Jesus wasn’t being judgmental when he said “you cannot serve God and Mammon” — he was being accurate. They are diametrically opposed — and the dividing line is “generosity” (not that I’m any good at it — yet). Use mammon to make friends, he advised. Don’t let it use you. The cunning manager story demonstrated not just a use of money, but of authority, position (life circumstances; think Daniel and Esther) — we take so much of our “wealth” for granted in North America it is stunning.


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