Since November is giving month, I thought I'd share a few excerpts from my chapter in The Heart of Simplicity. My chapter is titled: Giving: Showing the Love of Christ through Simple, Intentional Generosity
There are two very good reasons to give:
- To bless others.
- To bless ourselves.
Giving to Bless Others
How do you feel when you receive a heart-felt gift? Does it make you feel special? Does it bring a smile to your face knowing that someone took the time to do something just for you?
It’s nice to feel that someone cares.
In this busy world, it is easy to feel overlooked and unappreciated. Souls everywhere are hungry for a morsel of attention.
Each and every person wants to know someone cares.
The funny thing is, each and every one of us has the ability to provide that love and care to another wanting soul.
Realizing we have this power is a gift itself. As insignificant as we may sometimes feel, God has given us the ability to bring great joy into the lives of others. And we don’t have to break the bank to it.
It doesn’t take an extravagant gift to show someone they are loved; even the simplest gesture can provide much encouragement.
Giving (whether it is of our time, a note, or a present to unwrap) brings substance to our words and feet to our faith.
James 2:14-17 provides a great example of this:
“Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
Giving enables us to meet physical, spiritual and emotional needs and allows us to be the hands of Jesus on this earth.
A gift given from the heart can build relationships and open doors of opportunity to share the love of Christ.
Giving to Bless Ourselves
It might seem strange to say that we give to bless ourselves, but God’s word tells us:
“. . . in everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” Acts 20:35
Why did Jesus say it was more blessed to give than to receive?
I don’t know for sure, but I suspect he had some of this in mind:
- Giving can chip away at the selfishness in our hearts.
- Developing the habit of giving strengths our character; it helps us maintain an outward focus rather than an inward one.
- Each act of kindness causes us to care less about worldly things and more about the welfare of others.
- Giving helps us keep the right perspective when it comes to our possessions
- Giving causes us to become more like Christ (He gave the greatest gift of all: Himself as a ransom for many).
- Giving enables us to show God’s love to others.
- People who give regularly are happier than those who don’t. Scientific studies show that generous people feel a greater sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that those who hold tightly to their belongings.
(See this study for more details)
There is also this:
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25
I don’t know about you, but I like the idea of prosperity and refreshment. I’d venture to say you do, too. This verse tells me that being generous is one way to achieve these things. Since God’s word is trustworthy, we ought to pay attention to this detail and give as a means of ensuring our own prosperity and refreshment (whether physical or spiritual).
Finally, we bless ourselves with peace and joy by knowing we are in line with God’s desires—for as we see in 1 Timothy, He does in fact command Christians to give:
“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” I Timothy 6:18
(Even though this verse is directed to the rich, it could be said that 21st Century Americans fit this description.)
When we obey God’s commands we can rest in His delight.
This is an excerpt from my chapter: Giving: Showing the Love of Christ through Simple, Intentional Generosity in the ebook The Heart of Simplicity.