Another day fading into gray. It was evening. The list of “To-Dos” smaller. We, pausing, taking in sweet moments. Playing on the floor, mommy, daddy, and baby.
My husband’s phone rang; a friend on the other end. One statment he made. It struck me. Sunk into my brain. Over and over the rest of the evening and into the next several days this phrase rung in my head, in my heart. God was working, pulling out the impurities, the imperfect me.
The phrase, piercing, the going against nature. “If GIVING was EASY then it really ISN’T GIVING.” And it still gets me at the core.
Yes, of course, I can give when it feels good, looks good. It’s easy to give money when things are going well financially. It’s great for me to give my time when I receive acknowledgement and thanks. No question about it I can I share my talents for something in return.
But is that TRUE giving? What am I giving in those situations? Out of my abundance?
Mark 12:43-44 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” ESV
Out of self-righteousness?
Matthew 6: 1-4 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. ESV
It is easy to give when I get what I want or need in return however is that giving…truly? Is that what Jesus meant when he said, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”? Giving when it is easy and feels good doesn’t challenge me, grow me. Giving when I want to, when it is convenient doesn’t mold me into Christ likeness.
Giving when it is difficult. Giving when it feels uncomfortable. That is giving! Not only to others but to God. It is out of our weakness that God is glorified. Because we give out of our poverty, the little we have, God’s name is magnified.
In that place of true giving we are blessed. We are blessed in seeing His almight name praised. We are blessed in the letting go of self and giving to the Lord. We are blessed in true giving. Its more than a feeling.
Giving from pride makes me happy for a time. Giving from a place of holiness, a place of seeing God magnified… now that changes me, blesses me!
As I write these words I am reminded of a hymn. It says it beautifully…
“Make me a blessing, Make me a blessing —
Out of my life May Jesus shine;
Make me a blessing, O Savior, I pray,
Make me a blessing to someone today.
Give as ’twas given to you in your need,
Love as the Master loved you;
Be to the helpless a helper indeed,
Unto your mission be true.”
I once heard that we can never out give our Savior. Truth.
So let’s put self aside. Don’t just say yes to the easy giving. Let God use you. Let God grow you, change you through giving.
Acts 20:35 “…You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” NLT
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. ESV
Ephesians 5:1-2 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. NLT