We often hear about the "Christian Right," or "Conservative Christians." Yet, if you think about it, Jesus was the original liberal.  He cared about motives more than the deeds themselves (Matthew 23:5 & Mark 12:41-43) and more about compassion than adhering to rules (Luke 6:1-11 & Luke 13:10-17). This blog will reflect liberal Christian values of compassion, tolerance, mercy, charity, a thirst for knowledge & understanding, and, above all, love.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Go, Eat Your Bread With Joy...

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"Before you die, treat your friends well. According to your ability, reach out, and give to them. Enjoy a good day, and don’t let your share of a good desire pass you by. Won’t you end up leaving behind to another what you have worked so hard for? Won’t the things you have toiled for end up being divided by lot? Give, take, and distract yourself, because you can’t search for luxury in the grave." ~ Sirach 14:13-16
I came across this passage during my regular reading this morning. I sat back and stared at my Kindle for a long minute before letting out a gleeful, "YES!" The passage gives us permission to splurge without guilt.
It's an issue I've wrestled with for years. God commands us to give alms to the poor. One could argue that once we've met our basic needs, any money left over should go to the poor and needy. Thus, anything extra we treated ourselves to was tying up funds we could be using to feed and clothe the needy. Even though the rule seemed inescapable, I had a problem; I liked my extras.
  • I like to eat out
  • I like my DVD collection
  • I like to go to the movies with a big tub of popcorn and a sugary drink
I don't feel evil when I enjoy these things. God wants us to be happy and enjoy life. I can't imagine a God who would want us to whip ourselves and deprive ourselves of the joys of life. I think Ecclesiastes 9:7 says it best, "Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do."