“The Bible doesn’t make sense! If we give away our coats, then we will all be cold!” complained my friend. I suggested he read the verse again. John doesn’t ask us to give away our only coat, just our second one. He challenges us to face the fact that many of us have more coats than we need and to do something about that.
I once met someone who had chosen to take this teaching seriously. She had determined how many pairs of pants she really needed, and every time she purchased a new pair, she chose a pair to give away. Not just when her closet was overflowing or when she had time, but right then. What a great way to focus on what we really need and to escape the temptation to buy more and more!
The good news of God’s grace frees us from the need to prove our worth by acquiring possessions. We are liberated to keep only what we need, and to share our extra coats with others. That way we can all be warm.
God of abundant life, help us to resist the temptation to acquire more. Help us share what we already have with others. Amen. — JN