Do you like to give to others? I like it a lot. Giving makes me feel good. I think it makes everyone feel good. Some people like it so much they talk about it, which sounds a lot like boasting. Jesus has something to say about doing good and giving. “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father inheaven.
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:1-4).
I recommend a habit of giving, but let the good feelings be your reward, just between you and God. We live in a selfish, self-centered generation where people seek satisfaction and instant gratification, but we can rise a step above the rest to be compassionate as Jesus is compassionate, whether we give gifts of flowers, smiles, money or time.
THINK ABOUT IT
Giving is a stumbling block to many people. Yet when we resist the temptation to selfishly hold on to things and reach out to others instead, the results are amazing. We can actually avert depression and despair when we think of someone else besides ourselves and our problems. Let this verse be key in your giving: “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Look for opportunities to help someone today by giving of your time, talent, ability or blessings.
PRAY ABOUT IT
Thank you, Lord, for all the ways you bless us. Help us to respond by loving you and others. Teach us ways to show compassion as Jesus shows compassion. Empower us to step out of our comfort zones to bless another person today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.