The Secret of Giving
Each of us has ingrained gifts that we use whether we know it or not, whether we have come to the saving knowledge of Jesus or not, or we like it not (Romans 11:27-29 NIV). The gift that I feel is the most problematic though is “giving”. I say this because, in our heart we give without thought of our self or our wants or needs. Many have given for years and the recipients have never stopped to really consider what has been provided and the cost on the part of the giver. Consider God’s gifts as an example, the world has been recipients of them and many have never stopped to consider where they came from and how quickly they can disappear. Paul in his letter to the mixed-up church at Corinth talked extensively about the gifts of God including the wine and the bread and the giving of resources. His argument was about the proper use of the gifts not for personal gain but for edification.
I know of a giver who has spent her entire life giving in one capacity or another well into her advanced years; Her viewpoint is and has always been “Not for me but for your glory Lord” (Psalms 115:1). Yet, because she is human just as we are, she gets hurt either because the gift didn’t hit the mark, the recipient rejected it, and/or the recipient never said, “thank you” by word and actions. Now, it may seem rather callous and unbiblical to tell the giver and receiver “check your heart” but, it is biblical, and it makes sense. It is entirely possible for the gift to be tainted by wrong motives either how it was given or how it was received. I know of another person who worked with years ago who would give small gifts for birthdays, pregnancies, etc. and I thought she was just being generous. Her motive for giving came to light at the end of a heated conflict in which it was disclosed that she expected, if not demanded, reciprocity from the receiver or face ridicule at review time. The people that gave her gifts were from her staff who did so out of fear of reprisal. In reflection, I thought “how wasteful it is to give or receive gifts out of wrong motives. Wrong motives have driven wedges between family members, destroyed churches, and caused malicious gossip to sprout up. If our reason for giving is “what is in it for me”, the gifts become harder to accept knowing what may lay in the background (Proverbs 23:26-28). The Devil will prompt us to buy gifts under the guise of “good will” only to have him switch sides and convince the receiver to believe a lie in order to cause conflict. Consider the practice of tithes and offerings some, like Barnabus, give out of the heart others, like Ananias and Sapphira, did so out of show (Acts 5:1-16). The end result spoke the truth of the heart in both cases.
My encouragement for you today is that as you consider others and want to give a gift, look hard at your motives and never lose sight of them. Motives are not a bad thing rather, they are a tremendous ally that will either build you up or, like the church of Corinth, tear you down. May your day be blessed.
Let each one give [thoughtfully and with purpose] just as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver [and delights in the one whose heart is in his gift]. (2ndCorinthians 9:7 AMP)
Everyone to examine cells before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak, and sick, and a number you have fall asleep (Died). (1 Corinthians 11:28-31 NIV)
Thank you for a brand-new day in our life. There is no greater gift that has been given then the one that is through Jesus. Of all things he could give a fledgling group, the one thing “life” and that “immortal” was something that could not be bought in a store or, a gag gift. From this gift, many millions upon millions have come to the knowledge of Jesus for now over 2000 years. Help me to reach people with these words that their hearts would be lifted up and be greatly encouraged. Be with my readers today that their lives would be rich and meaningful. Those who are enduring struggles and storms in their lives, I pray that one word of encouragement will catapult them through the struggles to the place you would have for them (John 14:2).
In His Name