In Acts 20:35 (NIV), Paul tells us that Jesus says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
However, it is a struggle for many people today to give without feeling obligated or without expectation of something in return. Whether it is the giving of gifts, of money, or of time, many of us find it difficult to make a sacrifice without getting some type of repayment.
When others need help, is your initial reaction to think, “What’s in it for me?” If so, I encourage you to meditate on the verses below and evaluate whether or not you have a heart for giving.
If this is an area of difficulty in your life, ask God to work in your heart and to teach you to give cheerfully and without expectation.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
We have been given the greatest gift of all – the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This gift was given freely to all who accept it, without receiving anything in return. This is the heart for giving that we should model in our lives today.
“Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.”
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
“A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.”
“Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.”
1 Corinthians 13:3
“If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
1 John 3:17
“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?”
God asks us to give not out of obligation or with any reservation, but rather to give because He first gave to us. It is not what we give, or how much we give, but whether or not we have a heart for it.
With the holiday season upon us, now is the perfect time to practice your giving. To you that could mean giving a surprise present to someone and not expecting anything in return, or it could mean giving up a Saturday afternoon and volunteering somewhere.
Just remember, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
This post was written by Family Christian's own Alex Rogers. He loves coffee, movies, and spending time with friends and family.