The community was abuzz with excitement following the completion of the community project which I and a few friends masterminded and executed.
Wearing a large smile, he approached me with outstretched hands, and as we struck wrists in greeting, he told me ‘this project is wonderful, you need to see how it has added beauty & functionality to the area’. Then lowering his voice, he then added ‘you will see God’s blessings now. He is pleased when we give & he then gives us overflowing blessings.’
‘We didn’t do this because we want God’s blessings, I told him. ‘We have already been blessed by God. We did it because we are appreciative of everything we have and want to share. God has already blessed me!’
He smiled as he walked away. I smiled that he understood the message. I hope you do too.
What is your mission when you give to others or support activities around worship? For many people, it is ‘to sow’, to give because they want to receive in return immediately or later & often multiplied.
This model has complicated the lives of many people in many different ways:
- They give only to people they think can give back to them; thus their giving is not borne out of love neither is it genuine.
- God is perpetually their debtor, He is owing them for one thing or the other all the time. Their lives are often filled with an unusual sense of entitlement – God must do this for them or that; God must not allow this or that!
- I know people who have joined groups and associations that don’t serve their interests but are stuck in there because there are material benefits.
They think about the contributions they will get when they are affected by births, deaths, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. When I left a group recently as it wasn’t adding any value to me, a member called & asked me to recall all the contributions I had made to others & reconsider & that it would be their honor to give to me too someday. I gave him the same response I narrated above.
- Some years ago an Uncle lamented the unwholesome association and influence he endures in many of the village Associations he belonged to but must remain a member because he is concerned about getting a befitting burial someday. The guy was stuck!
- People give to support ‘God’s work’ on earth with the mindset of sowing & when they don’t reap in the same or harder ‘currency’ that they sowed, they become aggrieved & many sorrowing results.
Giving because you are thankful & appreciative of what you have already, (and indeed there is so much to be thankful for!) is the model of giving that brings happiness and frees us from the complications mentioned earlier.
What is your model of giving? What do you tell yourself when you give that gift? It will determine a lot.
This is not to say that God doesn’t appreciate our gifts & that he doesn’t bless us many folds over what we sacrificed. He does indeed! The truth is that sometimes, the reward God gives doesn’t come in the same currency we gave and so if we consider our giving as sowing & we don’t reap what we sow, we may be in for a lot of disappointment even when God superabundantly blesses us!
Again I ask: What is your model of giving? What do you tell yourself when you give that gift?
Image Credit: https://www.hoffmaninstitute.org/; https://www.franchising.com/