A couple of weeks ago, I sat with some friends at someone’s house, we were having conversations around God and the Holy Spirit and we somehow got talking about the virtue, gift and service of giving. I had just got out of my retreat and that was one topic that God opened me up to while on retreat so I was very excited when we arrived there.
I know i’m not alone in thinking that ‘I really am a cheerful giver’, my giving didn’t even start when I gave my life to Christ, it was something I did more out of pity and compassion which are human emotions that one feels whether or not they are Christians. When you come to the light (To Christ), you have a more solid foundation and reason for doing what you do and there are more guiding principles that help you ensure you’re giving in a manner that pleases God.
So yes, it is not enough to be a giver, it is more important that your giving is actually in accordance to the model that will please God. This brings to mind the response of Samuel to Saul when he said to him “Does the Lord really want you sacrifices and offerings? No, He wants you to obey Him“. This was at a point where Saul thought He could give offerings to alter the mind and heart of God.
Some of us think like that sometimes, but today I hope you’re challenged to know that your obedience is more important to the heart of God than your offerings and sacrifices.
But, back to our conversation, we were talking about how important it is that we be givers and like I said, I was convinced I am a good giver, but something happened while on retreat. One of the dreams I had during retreat revealed something to me and because I know I may not be alone in this, I decided to share it with You.
Not all giving is sacrifice, sometimes, we have enough to the point where we can give without us feeling it. It is still classified as giving, but wheres the sacrifice of praise and wheres the heartfelt worship in our giving if we can’t even be bothered by what we’ve given.
I’m not in any way insinuating that you must be a pauper after you’ve given, or you must be struggling after you’ve given, but i’m saying that it must be from a place inspired by the Holy Spirit which will usually be heartfelt and borne from a motive to please God and not gain favour with someone or even just appease your ego.
God showed me how I give out of abundance and not out of my nothing. Giving out of our abundance only favours us and the person who receives. God is not glorified when we give to please ourselves and obtain favour from people. When our giving benefits only us, we need to check it again because our giving as Christians has a mission and a purpose and if that purpose is not fulfilled then we’re just expanding our egos and pleasing ourselves.
God used the widows mite to remind and teach me, remember Jesus words regards her?
And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, 2 and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. 3 So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all;4 for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” – Luke 21:1-4
The widow gave it all. Like all. Sometimes we think that God only expects us to give to the less privileged and those needy, and because of that way of thinking, we refrain from thinking much about giving in the first place, but God loves and cares about you the same way He loves and cares about that person in need, so sometimes, through the Holy Spirit, He could encourage you to take a break and book a holiday or even spoil yourself to dinner or lunch out. Giving to yourself can also please God so don’t always think that giving is for everyone around you but yourself. This understanding only comes when we recognise that were only stewards and not the owners of anything that gets into our hands, be it our time, our resources, our talents and even our possessions.
The widows story should be an anchor story for us as Christians on the issue of giving. We should also remember that God gave His ONLY son for us, there wasn’t another one somewhere that He had, He had one and He gave Him up. That’s the sacrifice of praise that God desires. The same one He exemplified in sending Jesus to the cross.
Let’s give, yes, but let’s give in a manner that will please God.