A common question

This week I’ve been reading about the early Anabaptists. They wanted to put their faith into practice, and to take seriously the witness of the early church from the book of Acts, where people held things in common.

The problem was that this turned out to be a very dangerous thing to do. Some Anabaptists were very generous to members of their congregation and the broader community. Other Anabaptist groups shared all their possessions with each other, and held things in common. The Anabaptists were preaching that Christians should not keep their wealth to themselves. God required that they share. Government authorities were alarmed. Was this a judgement upon them, that they should be required to give up their wealth? They were Christians too! The Anabaptists tried to explain that when God changes your heart, you want to give things away.

What does this mean for our generosity and offerings? Do we wait for our hearts to be changed, so that we want to give away more and more? Or does the action of giving actually change our hearts? Perhaps it’s the old common question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”

This week’s prayer: Lord, how much should I give? How much does my heart need to change?

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