Consider What Is God’s

Sunday, October 19

10-19By Jane Gardner, president of Quorum of High Priests

…Then he said to them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

—Matthew 22:21 NRSV

I often get my priorities mixed up. It’s so easy to selfishly place myself first, ahead of faithful discipleship. One Sunday a young, single mother and her two daughters showed up at church. With a judgmental sigh, I thought, “The only time we ever see her is when she needs money.” My attitude lacked grace!

At the end of the service, I happened to be at the coat rack when this young woman was there. As I put my coat on and reached into my pocket for my gloves, I found instead some money. I had no idea where it had come from. I didn’t remember putting the bills in my pocket.

An internal voice prompted, “Give her the money.” I argued back, “I also have two kids, and they have many needs. We don’t have money to spare.” By the time I finished this conversation with myself and came to my senses, the young woman was gone, and the opportunity had passed. To this day, I confess that unchristian behavior.

Prayer for Peace God, forgive us, sinners. All comes from you, generous God. Help us as we strive to place you at the center of our living and our giving. Help us make your mission our top priority!

Spiritual Practice: Growing a Gracious, Generous Heart Open your heart to God’s Grace and Generosity with a “breath prayer.” Let your breathing slow and deepen. Be aware of God’s breath moving in and out of your heart. Spend several minutes focusing on breathing in God’s generosity. With each breath, silently name one gift for which you are thankful. Let your heart expand to contain God’s gracious outpouring of love. With each breath out, name one gift you want to share from the overflow of your heart.

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will remember I am steward over your wealth.

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