Giving Unselfishly

When most of us think of giving, very often it is money that first comes to mind. Although, there is no dispute that money is a significant factor whether giving to individuals, charities or any other cause. But thinking of giving in terms of dollars and cents only is definitely misguided, given that money is only a component in the process of giving. The truth is that many areas of giving cannot be equated with a monetary value. For instance advocates for victims of social ills, persons volunteering for charities, missionaries in foreign lands, parents sacrificing to educate their offspring, are all examples of undeniably unselfish giving. There is no question, our lives are positively enhanced whenever we move beyond thinking solely of our personal needs and desires. When we willingly give from our resources, regardless of how small the gift may be, to help alleviate dire circumstances in another person's life, we begin to live with purpose. But what is more important is that selfless giving has spiritual value. It reflects our affinity to God our Heavenly Father who gives to us without partiality -…  "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust- Matthew 6:45.

In the Gospels Jesus laid out the spiritual standard for giving. It is that we must give without preconditions. But He goes further and commands us to not expect anything in return when we give. This selfless giving that Jesus preached was again echoed in the text where He said that even when someone asks to lend, we should give and not expect repayment. But His strongest message about giving is illustrated in God’s great gift of salvation. Even our most magnanimous acts of generosity, cannot be compared with the gift of God’s love demonstrated by sending His son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16. Giving is at the core of His love for us. He gives us life, health, protection and everything that is good. Jesus confirmed this truth  by saying “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!- Matthew 7:11.  When we look to God as our source, then we do not have to be afraid or reluctant to give,  because His supply is limitless. 

People who disobey Jesus’ teaching on giving, do so mainly because it goes against their selfish human nature. But Jesus reminds us that giving is rooted in the spiritual law of sowing and reaping. When we give we are blessed to receive - Luke 6:38. Jesus did not say that our motive for giving should be to receive. His message is that giving activates receiving. The irony though, is that the spiritual law applies to our negative actions as well. Therefore, He warned about giving with the wrong motives; to show off or to elevate ourselves in the eyes of others. Instead, He said that we should keep our giving private, and God will reward us openly - “Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.” Matthew 6:4. Jesus said also "But when you give to someone, don't tell your left hand what your right hand is doing."  Matthew 6:3. The fundamental point of Jesus’ lesson on giving is that we should not look to people for gratitude or recognition but to God instead who rewards us abundantly.