By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Think back to the last time you helped someone who was unable to give you anything but a thank you in return. Imagine the appreciation in their face and the joy you felt because you knew you made a difference in their life. The ability to provide a positive impact on someone’s life is not something we should take for granted. Who knows what that experience may have done for that person going forward. And because we gave the glory to God, they may return to church. They could have felt lost, and we found them. Or they felt alone, and we offered friendship. These are the types of experiences that will impact us for the rest of our lives.
Acts 20:35 (ESV): In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Sometimes we are swept away by the idea of receiving a gift, but we don’t actually remember the gifts we receive as well as those we give. While receiving a gift may provide instant gratification, it does not last long. How many Christmas presents do you remember from your childhood? I cannot remember many: a bike here, a gaming system there. What I remember most is my family driving around every Christmas looking at the best Christmas lights in the neighborhood. It is the human interaction that we remember much more than the material ones.
2 Corinthians 9:7 (ESV): Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
While our actions are how we exhibit our faith, we should remember we cannot earn our way to heaven through our works. If we give to the needy for any reason other than love, God is going to judge us as if we did not give. It is important to make sure when we give to others, we enjoy it and we give God the glory. If we are giving because our friends or our parents compelled us, while it is a nice gesture, God is not pleased. God is looking for us to be humble and caring enough to want to give to others as God gave us. By Jehovah sending His only begotten son to die on the cross in our place, we have an opportunity at eternal life. By having such a large debt forgiven, we should feel compelled to give to others whenever we have an opportunity. By us wanting to share the joy Christ gave us through the gift of eternal life, we also have an opportunity to make a lasting impact.