A Gate Called Beautiful
You should each give, then, as you have decided, not with regret or out of a sense of duty; for God loves the one who gives gladly. And God is able to give you more than you need, so that you will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause.
– 2 Corinthians 9:7-8 GNT
There are few things more important in life than giving. Those who are generous, have been found to live happier and healthier lives than those who are not. Also, generous individuals are more socially connected to their communities and inspire others to give. Giving is also biblical; God provided us with life and hope by giving us Jesus, who reminded us that, “it is better to give than receive” (Acts 20:35). Our problem is, we often conflate giving with money, but there are things (time, love, compassion, etc.) more valuable than money that you can give.
One of the greatest givers I had the pleasure of knowing was my Uncle Anthony. He was not a man of great means, but that never stopped him from giving. He didn’t just give money, he gave his time, counsel, empathy, and kindness to others. When giving, he liked to say, “I know it’s not much, but it’s something.” If what you are giving comes from a place of love, then it does not matter how much it is. What you give is not as important as where you are giving it from.
The Widow’s Offering
As Jesus sat near the Temple treasury, he watched the people as they dropped in their money. Many rich men dropped in a lot of money; then a poor widow came along and dropped in two little copper coins, worth about a penny. He called his disciples together and said to them, “I tell you that this poor widow put more in the offering box than all the others. For the others put in what they had to spare of their riches; but she, poor as she is, put in all she had—she gave all she had to live on.” – Mark 12:41-44 GNT
God is more concerned with the quality, rather than the quantity of a thing. Jesus proves this by not being moved by what the rich men were giving but instead was moved by the widow’s offering. This widow gave from the bottom – she did not have much to give but it was something and it was done with the right motives. The others gave from their wealth, but she gave from her commitment and faith.
When giving, always do it with the right motives. Do not give money hoping to get it back. Do not help others just to make yourself look good. Do not give your time just because you have nothing else to do. Your kind words, deeds, and gestures should come from your heart not from your ego.
Commitment and Faith
Giving was not unfamiliar to this woman. The fact that she was at the temple to give proves her commitment because typically when we feel like we do not have much to give, we refrain from giving. Society honors those who selfishly hold onto what they have, but God honors those who selflessly gives from the treasures that He has placed within them. That is why He tells us that if we are giving gladly, from a place of commitment and faith that what we give will be given back to us in full - pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into our lap. The amount we give will determine the amount we get back (Luke 6:38).
Therefore, give away what you want more of in your life. What you give should always be connected to a sacrifice. To give us life, Jesus had to sacrifice His life. So, if you want money, give money. If you want inspiration, inspire and uplift someone else. If you want love, give love. Learn to give not just what you have an abundance of, but what you want more of, and trust that God will provide for you and give you; in-return, everything you need.
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