“I’ve had it with you! You’re hopeless, you Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but manage to find loopholes for getting around basic matters of justice and God’s love. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required. -Luke 11:42 (MSG)
Jesus knows our hearts. I love the message translation of this passage. Have you ever just had it with someone and needed to tell them enough is enough. Yeah. Jesus did too. He was tired of watching these super religious people present 10% of what they produced to God when their hearts were far from God. What Jesus is saying here is, it is great that you can keep a list of rules but you are missing it when it comes to loving people.
For most of us we want to know what is the least amount of effort we have to put in to pass the test or keep our job. So many of us treat following Jesus the same way. If we go to a church building once a week, occasionally write a check and stay out of jail that we are being good Christians. Jesus here tells us that is great but those are less than the basics.
It is the difference between maintenance and work. A farmer can clean his tractor all day long but until he actually gets the tractor in the dirt and starts moving forward he is not doing work. For so many followers of Jesus we have set the standard at polishing the tractor and we never get around to actually doing the work. Don’t just settle for doing the minimum! BE GENEROUS! Sure you can give 10% of your income to God but don’t just stop there. Give people what they DON’T deserve. Love people like Jesus loved you. Who do you need to be generous to today?