"Don’t be stingy as your wine vats fill up." Exodus 22:29 (TM)
Believe it or not, I had several things upon which I could have commented from this chapter. The principle of restitution, for example, is an important issue in parenting and society. Holiness, purity and the mistreatment of societal outcasts are also worthy of discussion, and I was chewing on them as I read. But then I read verse 29 and thought of Alex.
Alex was my driver last night. I’m speaking at a business conference this morning and Alex was the gentleman sent to pick me up at the airport. Alex was a nice man who immigrated to the United States over twenty years ago. His slavic accent was still so heavy that I had a hard time understanding much of his story about coming to the states and his difficulty finding work.
As we neared the hotel I reached into my pocket and found myself in the classic Dutchman’s dilemma. I had a one dollar bill and a twentiy. My mind debated long and hard in those final few minutes of the ride. As Alex talked about the Indianapolis Colts’ new stadium I was agonizing over what to tip him.
Figuring that the right thing to do is usually the most difficult I chose the most uncomfortable option. I gave him the twenty. If you’re tempted to pat me on the back you need to know that, to my discredit, I was still struggling with my choice this morning when I read the chapter. Perhaps I chose to be giving, but I certainly wasn’t cheerful about it.
"I have blessed your wine vats. They are full," God whispered to my spirit as I read this morning. "Stop being so stingy. Besides, that twenty wasn’t yours to begin with."