Pastor Paula White's, President Trump's spiritual advisor, has made an appeal to her parishioners and followers to plant a $130 seed faith pledge in her ministry to ensure financial prosperity. This, coupled with the difficulty of a rich man entering the kingdom of heaven, has caused Christians everywhere to be nervous and skittish about focusing on personal wealth, favor and blessings.
But is this spiritually correct?
Here is what Jesus said.
“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
“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor AS THYSELF.” - Matt. 26:39
You will note that it does not say that you should love your neighbor more than yourself.
People are so afraid of being called selfish, self-absorbed, inconsiderate, thoughtless and uncompassionate, they forget to think and care about themselves.
Christians, in general, and women, in particular, are taught and conditioned to put everybody's needs before their own, and, yes, there is a time for that, but not all the time.
There is a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.- Eccl. 3:5
You have to learn to say no to the other person in order to refresh and regenerate yourself.
A broke, unhealthy, unhappy, depressed servant cannot help anybody.
Why does the flight attendant instruct you to put on your life vest before assisting children and infants?
A dire somber warning to that dutiful parent, laying up treasures for children and neglecting your needs, desires and wants, afraid to buy even a lousy winter coat to keep yourself warm, lest there should be not enough funds to pay for little Johnny's $165 Jordan sneakers.
You say you care about your children, well you must take care of you, so that you can remain around to take care of them, because if you are not around, nobody else will take care of them like you.
Joshua and Caleb believed God that He was going to bring them into the Promised Land overflowing with milk and honey. They refused to die in the wilderness with the rest of the original migrants from Egypt. They were convinced of the promise of becoming the head and not the tail, of being above and not beneath, of being blessed of the Lord in their going out and coming in. Yes, the poor would always be in the land, but that did apply to them, and where is it written that says it should apply to you?
In Joshua 14, we read about Caleb at 80 years reminding Joshua about giving him the mountain that was due to him.
Joshua's final address in chapter 24 of his book reminds the people how God gave them vineyards that they did not plant and houses that they did not build.
A child of God should always strive for and expect blessings from God as outlined in Malachi 3 and Mark 10:29.
The story of Lazarus languishing for years at the gate of the rich man does not apply to every believer. There must be Christians of affluence and influence to effect positive change in every society.
Where is it written that it should not be you? Christ died for you, too, so that you can have life and that more abundantly. Poverty, despite what you may think or feel, does not equate to holiness. Lack does not mean that you are more righteous. We serve a God, described as being more than enough. At the very least, you should have enough to address your needs.
Remember it says, "give us this day our daily bread and forgive us as we forgive others."
Yes, I know because of geographical coincidence, and negative circumstances, people are born into difficult situations, and things never fully work out for them, but that does apply to anyone born in the U.S.A. Since God has blessed you, enjoy it without guilt and use your excess to help them with their lack.
You have a right to live, a God given right to be here.
You have the right to say in a bubble bath, "Calgon, take me away."
You have a right to go under the golden arches and declare, "I need a break today."
Indeed you must live and not die to declare the wonderful works of the Lord.
Why should you die before your time by putting others needs before yours all the time.
You must first learn to love and be kind to yourself, so that you can share the exact same thing with someone else.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female according to Gal. 3:28-29 and God does not show partiality (Acts 10:34) so all the blessings, benefits and favor assigned to a child of God apply to you.
Discard from your vocabulary phrases, like," Why me,” "Why did you do that,” "I really do not need it,” and "You shoudn't have."
You must learn to be a gracious receiver, accepting with gratitude and humility whatever God bestows upon you.
There is no need to apologize or feel guilty, God loves you as well as anybody else and you deserve it, if He says or deems it so.
So to all the Joesphs, Daniels, Ruths, Esthers , Davids and Mordecais, take it, accept it, deal with it and continue being a blessing to your world. Below you will see a diagram of an electrical circuit. You are an integral part of God's system. Do not short-circuit the system, or interrupt the flow of current by breaking down, by not appreciating and managing your role in the system.
Pay heed again to the injunction from Bob Marley of Jamaica. Emancipate yourself from that slavery mindset. Resist the urge to be satisfied with less or nothing to prove and demonstrate your superior spirituality.
Give thanks and go out and continue to light your world.
Tiffani and Livingstone V. Knowles are a father-daughter writing duo. Navigating the specifics of a Bahamian-Jamaican-American household, they have learned what makes immigrants successful in America.They are the co-authors of HOLA America: Guts, Grit, Grind and Further Traits in the Successful American Immigrant.