Hebrews 13:16 (NIV)
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
Walking up to a doorstep on Halloween, a little boy discovered an empty bowl of candy and instinctively put his hands into his own bag to replenish the empty bowl. Sometimes from the mouth of babes and actions from children we can learn afresh how to give in a way that pleases God.
Giving not to be seen
“Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”
—Matthew 6:3 (NIV)
He did not do this to be seen, though millions eventually saw his unsolicited act of kindness because of a hidden camera and a post on social media that went viral.
Giving without Complaint
“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” —Philippians 2:14-15 (NLT)
What caused him to give so freely, seemingly without consideration of himself? Surely he must have felt disappointed that there was no candy for him, right? But instead of complaining or acting from a sense of entitlement about the lack of provision, he did something about it and provided from his own blessing.
Giving with Joy
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” —2 Corinthians 9:7 (ESV)
Joy filled his heart as he thought about the joy that he could bring others. Pure gratitude flowing from a generous heart.
Giving from a Pure Heart
I wonder, if there was a hidden camera on us, what that camera would tell? Would it tell the story of grateful believers on the lookout to help those less fortunate? Or would it tell a different story altogether?
Life has many challenges that can prompt ingratitude and complaint, but when we turn those challenges into opportunities to glorify God by giving from a pure heart, we are the ones blessed.
If you have ever been an eye witness to another moment of generosity, for instance, when others pay for the meal of the person behind them in a checkout line, there is this inner joy that delights in such giving. It is selfless and generous. And while we can have a tendency to glorify the giver, the reality is that it is not really us being generous, but God.
We are His ambassadors and we don’t get the glory – He does. We are merely stewards. Will we prove faithful? The same God who gives also takes away. He is looking to see what we will do with His blessing. God looks at the heart. Will we be like that sweet little boy, ready with a posture to share from all that God has given—not giving out of compulsion, but from a pure heart? The good news is that we can’t out-give God. He is the One Who provides so that we can share from His incredible generosity.
This Thanksgiving, look around you and see how generous God has been and notice who He might have you to be generous with, too. Happy Thanksgiving!
“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
Yours for Wise Stewardship,