June 25, 1994

Everybody’s Blind Spot

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Tim Keller, founding pastor of the influential Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, says,

As a pastor I’ve had people come to me and confess that they struggle with almost every kind of sin. Almost. I cannot recall anyone ever coming to me and saying, “I spend too much money on myself. I think my greedy lust for money is harming my family, my soul, and people around me.” Greed hides itself from the victim. The money god’s modus operandi includes blindness to your own heart.

What do you do if you realize you have been blind to your own greed? You open up your hand. You move to a posture of giving and releasing what you own and want and have. You say amen to the plea of Basil the Great, who challenged early Christians to remember: “The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry man who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the man who has no shoes; the money which you hoard belongs to the poor. You are not making a gift of your possessions to the poor man; you and handing over to him what is his.”
Don’t trade. Give! Help out a friend with no calculation of what you get back. You’ll find that giving has immaterial benefits that even the greatest trading deal can’t match.
When a whitewater rafter is caught in a suck hole on the backside of a rock, he must act counterintuitively. To survive, he must remove his life vest and allow the rushing, foaming water to thrust him to the river bottom. Only then can he get a firm footing to shoot through the death loop all the way to the surface. Any other move will render the swimmer dead.
Being generous is the counterintuitive move that can save, if not your life, then your soul’s health. So may you give of your wealth and give of yourself. May the organization you’re associated with be free with all the currencies of generosity in its grasp.

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