What If . . . ?

Ruth 2:15 – 16 “As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Even if she gathers among the sheaves, don’t embarrass her. Rather, pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”

Boaz was a genuinely good man. Jewish law required that he let Ruth, or anyone else, for that matter, gather from the corners of the field. He also had to let her have what was left behind. But Boaz went above and beyond the minimum requirements, and made sure that Ruth had plenty. He also did it in a way that would not embarrass her.

It is tempting, sometimes, to just do the minimum. We tithe, but we don’t give more than ten percent. We give our cast-off clothes to the poor, but we only purchase new things for ourselves. We give just enough to meet the minimum requirements, by whatever standards under which we have placed ourselves. And we pat ourselves on the backs, and go on our merry ways.

But what if . . . what if we decided to give more than the minimum? What if, instead of just donating our too-tight, faded, stained clothing, what if we slipped a few brand-new, designer, tags-still-on things into the donation bag? What if we gave twelve percent instead of ten? What if, instead of a few pennies and dimes, we handed the guy at the corner a steaming hot Big Mac and fries, with a large soda? And what if we decided to give more than the minimum every single time?

What if, instead of showing up a few minutes late for work, and leaving a few minutes early, we did the opposite? What if, instead of just inviting that person to church, we offered to pick them up, and then take them to lunch afterward? Just think of the difference we could make in this world if we made it a lifestyle, a habit of always giving more than is expected.

Yes, Boaz was a genuinely good man. And this world is starving for genuinely good, godly people to make a difference, to give more, to love more, to go the extra mile. You can be that person, and so can I, if we just raise the bar a little. Let us imitate Boaz. Even more, let us be imitators of God, who gave much, much more than the minimum. He gave everything He had, because of love.

1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”

Dear Father, Thank You for giving so much for me. Please help me not to be stingy with Your blessings. Help me to generously give of myself, so that others may see Your love.


One Response to What If . . . ?

  1. January 5, 2008 #

    Loved this post – full of colorful, descriptive writing.
    But most of all, full of such encouragement and wisdom.
    Prodding us to give more of ourselves – to attain to the level of selflessness of our wonderful, all-giving God.
    I can attest that this lifestyle brings great joy.
    Though I certainly have a long way to go, my goal the last year or so has been to give, give, give, to the point that others cannot catch up.
    Not to make them feel inadequate, but to reveal to them in a small way that this is how God loves – we can NEVER outgive Him.
    The joy this has brought me has been immeasurable.
    Thanks for reminding us again of the challenge of imitating our Father in Heaven.

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