Is it more important what we give or how we give?

Published 3:52 pm Sunday, March 31, 2019

Our church is having a garage sale.  People from the congregation have donated their items to sell.  

What I have learned is that some folks donate their treasures while others discard their junk.  

It is that way with Christ, some folks give of their time freely while others guard their time and hold it in a powerful grip to be used for only their purposes. 

Isn’t that the way it is in life?  

I have found the happiest people I have met in my ministry are those who are generous. Truly generous.  

There are always those who give, but they give with strings and cords and ropes attached.  In other words, it is really not a gift given in love but a gift given to be in power and control.  

One of my favorite hymns that I don’t hear very often any more speaks of this so well, “He said, Freely, freely you have received, freely, freely give.  Go in my name and because you believed others will know that I lived.”  

To know and share the generosity of Jesus love is our mission, it is just that simple, and just that beautiful.  In a world where so many try to manipulate and coerce and control, Jesus love is a free gift given in love. 

I have recently announced my retirement and Sandra and I are downsizing to a home we would actually be able to afford. 

First United Methodist Church has been very generous in providing for us a beautiful home to call home for the last eight years.  We came to Orange as newlyweds, being married only five months so we did not have time to consolidate two person possessions into one household we just packed them in boxes because we were moving to a parsonage that we would have a hard time filling with all of our joined possessions.  

But now I have been going through my treasures that I have collected to use for children’s sermon object lessons and have the joy of giving them away.  

I think I have found the way to keep your heart alive, it is the secret of Jesus life. Do you want to know what that secret is? I could tell you, but it is something that I would need to share face to face.    


John Warren is Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church, 502 North 6th Street in Orange.