Surrendering Our Bread And Butter (Louise Champness)

Has God ever asked you to give something away that you’d rather hold onto?

Pearl HeadbandThe story of the starving widow who gives away her last piece of bread challenges me (1 Kings 17:7-16). During my engagement, I made a bridal headpiece out of pearls, tiny beads and wire. Spending hours on it, I was disheartened to discover it didn’t suit me (it made my ears stick out!). Soon after our wedding, I sensed God prompt me to give it away; ashamedly, seven months later, I’ve only got as far as taking some pictures of it, ready to upload to Facebook.

In a land of drought, all the widow has in her food cupboard is ‘a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug’ (v.12). In an act of incredible faith, she obeys Elijah’s instructions to make a loaf of bread for him first, and only then make some for herself and her son. As she does so, God miraculously provides a never-ending supply of flour and oil, under the drought is over.

If such radical generosity is what God wants from us, how can we mirror it in our behaviour online?

Generosity is intentional. My pearl headband has remained on the dressing-table for months; being generous requires us to push against our apathy. Whilst there are countless ways to be intentionally self-sacrificial online, here are some ideas:

Give our time:

Intercede using Twitter. Sara Batts invites prayer request Tweets, offering ‘#trainprayer’ on her morning commute.

Offer our talent:

Give feedback on an aspiring photographer’s portfolio.

Speak words of affirmation:

Comment on blogs we know someone’s put effort into (comment section below… only joking!)

Give grace: 

Allow people freedom of speech when we come across a blog post we don’t agree with. Look for what we do agree with, and engage in healthy debate with the rest.

Give our money:

Instead of ignoring the next online charity appeal we see, ask God whether He’d like us to sacrifice something and contribute.

The widow gave all she had and was blessed as a result; having had only her son for company, she now has Elijah. In an age when being a widow would mean being an outcast, she has the dignity of hosting a man in her home. Whilst I wouldn’t endorse the ‘prosperity gospel,’ it does seem that obedience to God often leads to blessing.

Part of me doesn’t want to give away my headband. ‘What if I have a daughter one day who could wear it?’ my selfish side wonders. Yet I know that God’s ways are higher, and that He promises to ‘satisfy our desires with good things.’ (Ps 103:5).

  • What is your flour and oil?
  •  How do you think we can be generous online?

About Louise Champness