We often hear the quote, “it is better to give than to receive.” But we all know that “it is easier to give when we have something to give.” We cannot give what we don’t have.
There are people who would love to give and help others but they are restricted to help because they don’t have the resources to do so. But there are some who actually have the resources, yet their hearts are not open to help others.
What is the explanation of the Bible regarding helping others and giving? What awaits those who extend their help to others?
Paul said, (Acts 20:34-35) Yea, you yourselves know that these hands have ministered to my needs, and to those who were with me. I have shown you all things, that working in this way we ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Critics say that these can never be found in the Gospel. Only Apostle Paul mentioned it. This is one of the rare situations that Jesus said something and were not recorded by the four evangelists.
But does this mean it is not reliable to be words of Jesus Christ, if it is not recorded by the four authors of the Gospel?
Apostle John says, Joh 21:25 And there are also many things, whatever Jesus did, which, if they should be written singly, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. This means a point, if there are many things that He has done and were not written, it is also possible that there are also words that He has spoken but were not written too.
But does this means if it came from Apostle Paul, it will not be reliable to be coming from Christ?
Actually, Paul was not mentioned in any book of the Gospel. He is not a direct witness of anything that Jesus said and done. But there are valid reasons why we have to believe that this was really said by Christ and was only written by Apostle Paul.
If we study the Bible, there are evidences that give proof to Apostle Paul’s knowledge on the ministry of Christ. In Galatians 1:18 to 2:10, we can read Paul’s encounter with the other Apostles, and in those encounters, he might have heard Christ’s words from the Apostles since his teachings are not in any way contradict the teachings of Christ and the Apostles.
There is Joy in Giving
There is joy in giving. Giving is an act of love, and only those who give get the chance to experience it. There is an unexplainable feeling of happiness in giving, knowing that we get the chance to help others.
There is also joy in the part of the recipient knowing that there are people who are willing to open their hearts especially in times of need.
But only the righteous people are very much willing to open their hearts and give. (Proverbs 21:26) All the day the sinner goes after his desire: but the upright man gives freely, keeping nothing back.
One way of showing our faith is to open our hearts and give. Faith is nothing or useless if we see others that are in need of help and we have the ability to do so but refuse to do it. (James 2 : 14 – 17) What use is it, my brothers, for a man to say that he has faith, if he does nothing? will such a faith give him salvation? If a brother or a sister is without clothing and in need of the day’s food, And one of you says to them, Go in peace, be warm and full of food; but you do not give them the things of which their bodies have need, what profit is there in this? Even so faith without works is dead.
For Christians, giving is voluntary. It’s a decision of the heart based on the dictation of one’s faith. It is something that we do on our own and not enforced to us. God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Cor 9:7) Each one, as he purposes in his heart, let him give; not of grief, or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.
There are many instances in the Bible that show us how the servants of God opened their hearts to others. They give because they care. They give because their faith is telling them to do so.
Look at the story of the poor widow, she gave all her wealth as a sign of her faith. (Mar. 12 : 42 – 43) And a certain poor widow came, and she threw in two lepta, which is a kodrantes. And He called His disciples and said to them, Truly I say to you that this poor widow has cast in more than all those who have cast into the treasury. For all cast in from their abundance. But she, out of her poverty, has cast in all that she had, all her livelihood.
For some, it maybe a small amount of money. But in God’s eyes, despite of her poor condition, she was able to open her heart and gave everything she had.
Therefore, there is sacifice in giving. This story doesn’t mean we have to do what she has done and give everything what we have. It is not what God wants. God wants us to realize that inspite of her poor situation, she was able to give. And God wants us to do the same, no matter what condition we have in life.
The brethren of Macedonia is another example of showing how giving is done righteously. They showed how much generous they were despite of their troubles. (2 Cor. 8 : 1 – 5) And, brothers, we make known to you the grace of God which has been given among the churches of Macedonia; that in much testing of trouble, the overflowing of their joy, and the depth of their poverty, abounded to the riches of their generosity. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability; they gave willingly; with much beseeching, begging us that they might receive of us the grace and the fellowship of the ministry to the saints. And not as we hoped, but first they gave themselves to the Lord, and to us through the will of God,
For servants of God, one way of showing our trust in Him and in His church is to give help and donations. After all, we know that all our contributions are used in the propagation of the Words of God.
God knows our needs, so we shouldn’t worry of everything. This pushes the servants of God to help more even if they suffer from life’s difficulties. (Mat. 6 : 31 – 33) “So do not start worrying: ‘Where will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes?’ (These are the things the pagans are always concerned about.) Your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things. Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things.
And we have to trust God that He can even give more than what we need in this life so that we can give more because of what our faith dictates. (2 Cor. 9 : 8) And God is able to give you more than you need, so that you will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause.
If we give, God will surely take it as good works and will surely be written in the book of our works. (Heb. 6 : 10) God is not unfair. He will not forget the work you did or the love you showed for him in the help you gave and are still giving to other Christians.
As we learned, giving is not something that should be enforced on us. It is an act of the kindness of the heart.
Therefore, we should not withhold our hands if our help is needed, especially if we have the power to do it. (Proverbs 3: 27) Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it.