The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him—may your hearts live forever! (Ps. 22:26)
You can find many books about stewardship, and it seems most authors agree that stewardship is deciding who your life is going to benefit. The psalmist seemed to believe that too, drawing special attention to the guest list. The poor, he said, are invited—and they eat until they are satisfied. The psalmist made space, food, and drink available for them at the feast.
We are often tempted to see our resources as ours alone, using every last dollar in our budget (beyond our tithe, if we even do that) so we can pay our debts, meet our bills, and secure our future. But the psalmist here seems to think that faithfulness and celebration lead us to a spirit of generosity—approaching the poor not as projects, but as people with whom to break bread, to learn, and to listen. In doing so, the hearer is subtly led to ask, “Whose life will be better as a result of the way I spend my time, energy, money, and attention? Who will be the beneficiaries of today’s act of faithfulness?”
The beneficiaries of our faithfulness will include the people closest to us, to be sure, in addition to generations we may never meet. And (if we learn from the psalmist), our faithfulness will lead us to include people into our lives that we otherwise might have overlooked.
Consider how your resources might benefit someone outside your current circle.
Ethan Linder is an editor and the pastor of Hospitality, Collegians, and Young Adults at College Wesleyan Church in Indiana, where he lives with his wife, Sarah, and their three sons.
© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.