“What’s in your wallet?” is a well known phrase. It is a clever caption coined by the credit card company master card. I suppose the phrase correctly belongs to an overweight Viking wreaking havoc in some modern day setting, as is the usual scenario for the commercial. But the question posed by this simple Viking is rather complex. What is in your wallet? In our society the wallet represents that which gets us the things we need to survive. We pull out our wallet at the gas pump, the grocery store, and pretty much anywhere we need something. Yet our wallet is also our source of charity. We pull it out at church, when our kids are in need, even perhaps when we see a homeless man asking for assistance on the roadside. We all have a spiritual wallet as well, a source from which we supply our spiritual needs and the needs of those around us as well. And frankly this Viking posed question is far more profound when it is considered spiritually. It would not be difficult for all of us to pull out our wallets this morning and answer the question “What’s in our wallet”. I have a few receipts, some business cards, a photo or two and so on. But to answer “What’s in your spiritual wallet” is challenging, especially when it comes to what we can give to others when they ask us for help.
What we do give to those who ask is a deeply important subject in the Word of God and the book of Acts gives us a story that will help us to understand what we should give to those seeking our help. Take a look at Acts 3:1-10.
The simple truth is Peter gave what he had and we need to be the type of people who “give what we’ve got”.
Peter first had to figure out what he had, because what he did not have what was asked for, namely gold and silver. He knew his life had been changed so he offered the only thing in his possession that was able to meet this man’s need, Jesus Christ. Are you focused on what you have or what you don’t?
Next, Peter had to give what he had in a way that connected with this lame man. He did this by offering dignity to this man. How many times have you stopped to look a beggar in the eye? Offering dignity with our gift is huge! People need to see they are loved. Jesus spent time with prostitutes, tax collectors and thieves and in each one he saw someone worth dying for. Do we see as Peter saw…as Jesus sees? Peter was truthful too. I love the fact he told this man he was broke but not unable to give him what he needed. Be honest with people. Lastly, he offered this man compassion. He stopped. He reached down and picked this man up. He took the time to “give what he had”.
The world is asking us to answer some pretty deep questions. I don’t think this lame man was only asking for money alone. He was looking for a way to survive. He found this and more in Jesus the Nazarene. What are you giving to those in the world who are looking to you for an answer to the deep questions of their life? They need to hear from you that Jesus can help them right where they are!
Friends, when we answer the questions of the world we don’t just impact one life, we impact many. Look at the end of the story. Everyone who knew this lame man were amazed at what had happened to him. When those around see someone connect a question with the answer they are profoundly impacted.
The truth friends is that you can have absolutely nothing in your wallet and still have everything to give one who is asking you for help. When Christians give what they’ve got men and women around them experience the transformation of Jesus Christ. Let us be those who would seek to answer the questions asked us with the grace of Jesus Christ.
Do you ever find it difficult to give what you’ve got when someone is asking for something else?
Why is it important to address spiritual needs along with physical needs?