Jim Branch: Clenched Fists or Open Hands

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If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be. Deuteronomy 15:7-8

“There are only two ways to live. We can live with either clenched fists or with open hands. You can’t have them both. Clenched fists are a refusal: a refusal to let go, a refusal to trust, a refusal to give up control. And unfortunately, in the spiritual life, clenched fists also keep you from being able to receive anything from God. Only empty hands can receive. Therefore, we must let go of whatever our hands are full of before we can ever expect to receive any of the fullness, or the life, that God wants to give us.”

Jim Branch in Reflection on “Letting Go” in The Blue Book: A Devotional Guide for Every Season of Your Life (Scotts Valley: CreateSpace, 2016) 185.

How are your hands?

Branch rightly notes that there are two ways to live but only one grasps life in all its fullness. See how this paradox unfolds: those who try to keep wealth in their hands only end up poor. Those who hold on to their plans for their lives never discover take hold of life as God desires for them.

How are your hands?

God cannot fill us to overflowing so that we can be generous if we have clenched fists. And we can’t grasp life that way either. So, look at your hands today. Take five minutes and do this. Consider the implications for your living, giving, serving, and loving.

How are your hands?

If you have grace and mercy, share it. If you have wealth, give it. If you have giftedness, use it. If you have love, lavish it. Only as we receive with open hands can we give. There is much fear in the world. It only lead us to clench our fists and miss out on what God has for us. Don’t let it happen to you.

Open your hands.