Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
~ Matthew 5:42 (NIV)
The second part of the Great Commandment (Luke 10:27) is “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus then tells the story of the Good Samaritan. In this story Jesus defines our neighbor as anyone in need of help. This kind of love is very practical.
It was the middle of winter and the elderly Christian in prison had a badly infected ear. He thanked God that he had been able to keep his fur hat affording him some protection from the biting cold. At least he had a pillow at night.
One day one of his cellmates asked him for his fur hat. The Christian had been willing to share food with his cellmates, but felt he could not give up his hat. After all, he had an infected ear. He needed that hat.
Through the night he wrestled with his conscience. He was haunted by this scripture: “Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you” (Matthew 5:42).
After a night of prayer, he sought forgiveness before God and was ready to hand over his hat. In the morning he learned that during the night the guards had taken the cellmate to another prison with a more severe climate.
That same morning, the guards held a routine check of the cell and among the personal objects confiscated was the believer’s fur hat.
He had tried to keep something that he was about to lose and God wanted to see the hat used for continued good with the other prisoner. Many years later, this believer remembered that lesson in Christian maturity which the Holy Spirit taught him.
RESPONSE: Today I will live in the realization that people are more important than things.
PRAYER: Help me, Lord, to not be tied down by my possessions but be open to sharing what You have given me with others in need.