LEARNING TO GIVE

“I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Acts 20:35

The words of Christ, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” reveal a major principle regarding our basic philosophy of life. Why are we here? Are we here to be takers, to see how much we can accumulate for personal interests and ourselves, always seeking to take advantage of others for our own gain? Or are we here to be givers and live for opportunities to share our blessings with others? Which attitude, or course, describes the direction of our lives? In this Scripture, we are reminded again that a biblically-based line of reasoning contradicts the conventional wisdom of the day. The average product of our world system might say that one is more greatly blessed who is on the receiving end of gifts; however, God’s Word says that the person who is more blessed is the one who is doing the giving. Lasting reward and fulfillment are enjoyed by the one who is learning to be a giver.

As always, the best example of what we ought to be and how we should live is found in the person of our Lord Himself. Giving is an integral part of the nature of God. One only has to look at the creation around us to see the generosity of the Creator. The plants and trees, the millions of stars, the birds, as well as the fish of the sea testify to the greatest Giver of all. The greatest expression of His giving is in God’s giving His Son to die for our sins. Jesus demonstrated this benevolent nature when He gave “his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). Because our human nature tends to be selfish, Jesus often reminds us of the need to deny ourselves. The more we try to hold on to our lives, the more we lose. The more we are willing to give our lives away, the more we gain.

The subject of giving brings to mind the matter of money, but it has much to do with other areas of our lives. We should give thanks to God and others. We should give respect. We should give our tithes and offerings, but we also should give our time for the Lord and His cause. Our purpose in life is more than being a reservoir of God’s blessings; we are to be channels of His goodness, using and sharing what God gives us that it might be a blessing to others. As we learn to be givers, we find that we are being blessed all along the way.