Before I jump into my topic please humor me as I ask these questions
- What do you understand by giving?
- How often do you give?
- How does giving affect or shape your life
Would you willingly give your last cent away in the name of giving.
Free Will Giving: Giving freely of one’s self and not expecting anything back.
As I sit back and ponder over these questions, I realize some roof these questions are easy to answer than others and I believe this may be the case for some of us. Certain things come easy than others.
As a believer, I am always happy to hear and be informed about the accomplishments of my church and community – The organizations it gives to or how it gives back to the community to help better its self as a church, a community and as a society. It’s amazing how an act of giving can change a person’s life, persona, or livelihood
And so this past Sunday was very humbling to me as I sat in church listening to the history and make of a project that was now serving over a thousand families in Africa.
Now as much as it was humbling to see and hear about this project, there was a time I didn’t see the importance of free will giving especially since I’d been at the end of the stick where I would give and give and I would receive nothing back in return.
I guess in some ways, this is where our understanding of free will giving lacks. We always expect something in return “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” type of mentality and in the end we get burnt out from giving so much of ourselves to receiving nothing or getting so little back.
But what was the purpose in Christ coming to die on the cross?
Today (Wednesday), as I drove home from work, my mind was transported back to a time in school where I had to write a paper based on a movie preference. Mine was “pay it forward”. I was taken back to the scene where the class teacher hands out an assignment to his students to come up with an idea to change the world.
A young boy named Trevor decides to create a rippling effect by paying it forward, doing three good deeds and having his benefactors also pay it forward never expecting anything for himself. Now towards the end of the movie, Trevor is stabbed in his efforts to stop his best friend from being bullied by a couple of bullies. In the end he dies.
It’s amazing how many times I have watched this movie but only made the connection today as the Lord laid its meaning upon my heart upon reflection and thinking as I drove home.
We look at this movie and applied to our Christian lives, we see how Christ selflessly gave himself on earth to all who came close to him through his teachings, travels and words of wisdom.
We learn of his teachings about loving our neighbours as our selves in Mark 12:3 where our neighbours aren’t just the people we live next door to or the person who sits close to us on a particular pew every Sunday morning or at Wednesday bible studies but it’s that person we have no affiliation to who sits out on the streets, or in a shelter and desperately needs the help and we are willing to offer the help without expecting anything back.
For he says in Matthew 25:31-46
V.40 “Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least of these my brethren, you did it for me.
But the biggest act of giving was he laying himself down as a sacrifice and dying up on the cross to free us of our sins. He didn’t ask or demand for anything except to repent and to believe in the father. To come to the father with our needs and to be each others keeper Galatians 6:2, Matthew 25:35, James 5:16, Romans 12:17-21. This I would say was his purpose in dying on the cross.
Giving in essence is to make us fulfilled in the body of Christ. For us to embody Christ like faith, for giving freely without expectations, brings more grace and abundance of blessings we could ever imagine.
Kwabea © 2017