Today my pastor used the analogy of close-fisted vs open-handed in a sermon to challenge what type of Christian we are. He used the analogy to not challenge the position or specific beliefs we have …. but more to challenge the posture we have in how generously we behave toward our resources and others.
So as you think about idea of close-fisted you think about someone ready to fight, close-minded, closed off, and trying to win. When you consider the idea of open-handed you see a person willing to serve, generous in his/her resources, open, and worshiping.
I don’t normally blog about theological topics. Rather, I try to blog about things pertinent to me and others in the here and now. I have intentionally taken a delayed approach on discussing Kim Davis, the government clerk that refused to sign marriage licenses because of her beliefs.
First, I want to say I respect Ms Davis for following her conscience according to her understanding of scripture. However, and there many sincere people who will disagree with me on this, I believe the response by Ms Davis, (and especially those who use her position for political gain), falls far short of a faith used in wisdom, living in understanding of outsiders, and representing the grace, mercy, and love Jesus shows sinners and outsiders. In many ways the Ms Davis situation reinforces a caricaturization of Christians that is far more focused on what they are against rather than what they are for. It reinforces the stereotype of a Christian that is close-fisted in his/her approach rather than open-handed and willing to serve, listen, understand, and love other sinners. The Kim Davis situation (most specifically the in-your-face pep rally used for political gain) falls far short of embodying Jesus’ ethics and does not represent the Jesus I see in scripture.
Scott Sauls says in his blog on the topic: http://scottsauls.com/2015/09/23/on-refugees-kim-davis-and-the-best-and-worst-ways-to-take-a-moral-stand/
Jesus never scolded or took a public moral stand against their ideas or practices. Instead, he won each person over with a love more compelling than the empty love that they had been chasing prior to encountering him.
So its important as we grow in our faith, to grow not only in our understanding and position, but also the posture we have toward outsiders and people we disagree with. To be an open-handed Christian and not a close-fisted Christian. To be like Jesus when it seems hard to do!
Both our position AND our posture matter!