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More blessed to give?
- Jacob Ninan
I am not questioning whether it is more blessed to give than to receive. Jesus said that (Ac.20:35). I am wondering whether we understand how it is more blessed. All of us have learned from childhood the joy of receiving, gifts and blessings. It is somewhat foreign for our nature to give. It is only when we receive the Spirit of Christ that we really learn how to give. Christ gave Himself for us, and the Father gave us His only Son. When the Holy Spirit changes our life, we also begin to learn how to give freely - without measure, without expecting anything in return, and without keeping a record of how much or how sacrificially we have given (Mt.10:8;Lk.6:35).
How blessed it is to give like that! How much greater joy it is to give secretly, without receiving any honour or recognition in return! We give because we have received freely and graciously from the Lord. We give because our heart rejoices to give in such a way that God's name is honoured, His kingdom is built, His people are blessed and others come to know our Lord and Saviour for themselves.
How sad when some preachers encourage people to give to the Lord as a business proposal! Of course they quote from the Scriptures. "Give, it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap" (Lk.6:38). "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows" (Mal.3:10). The words are right, but the spirit is that of a merchant. Surely the Lord will not be a debtor to anyone. He will greatly reward those who give, especially those who give with great sacrifice (Mk.12:43,44). But does He want us to give in a calculating manner, keeping in mind the high interest rate of the bank of heaven?
Didn't Jesus tell us very plainly, to give without expecting anything in return? Why don't we give because we love Him? The woman who broke the alabaster box of perfume at the Lord's feet and the widow who gave two copper coins will have their reward in heaven because they gave out of love and gratitude, more than many who have given large offerings to the Lord as sound investments for their future.
It is not how much we give that is important to the Lord. Let each one give as he can (1Co.16:2;2C0.9:7). Of course, the more we love, the more we will give. But it is how we give that the Lord looks at more than how much we give.