Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?
James 2:14-17, The Message Bible
Our faith is always a giving faith.
It starts with God, in giving us His Son without holding back, and Jesus fully giving His life to us so that we can live, and through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we can express ourselves as children of God through giving and showing acts of kindness to others. In other words, we give because God gave first.
Often, we limit how much we give, not because we have nothing to give but because we let the feeling of lack and inadequacy determine our giving. The truth is, many of us do not have clarity around our ability to give because of how we were taught or what we have learned from our personal experiences.
It is all too easy for anyone to say something nice, but the Apostle James tells our faith is more than saying nice things, but we are to act kindly and generously to others, especially to those in need. Once in a while, I hear people say, “I will give when I have a windfall”. Imagine saying that to a woman whose child is starving today and who might not make it through the night, or to a man who is going blind due to unsafe drinking water. Lots of these tragedies are preventable if only someone takes the time to give and willing to show that they care.
It is not that you have nothing to give, but it is about much more you can give.
God has given you everything you need in Christ. In this sense, when you are giving to someone, you are not doing it FOR God, but you are doing it FROM God. Isn’t it wonderful that God has put all things into your hands that you can always do something for someone?
Giving involves more than just money. Most times, it is easy to give money. Giving involves everything you are and do—it takes your time, your commitment, your emotions and most importantly, your heart of faith in Jesus. You don’t have to go far to make a difference. Just step out and ask God to show who and how you can personally share His blessings with.
What can you do differently in your giving?
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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