A lot of us have heard the saying, “it’s better to give than receive.” Just like “cleanliness is next to godliness” and “the love of money is the root of all evil” these maxims have a ring of Scriptural authority. The only problem is none of them are accurate quotations of Scripture. Instead, Acts 20:35 quotes Jesus as saying, “it is more blessed to give than receive.”
This may seem like a minor point – after all most of us when equate blessing with goodness, so if it is more blessed to give than obviously that is better. But, while I believe this is true, I don’t believe that it rightly encompasses why giving is good Its not just because it teaches us to share, which is a character trait that all mothers would deem admirable. Instead, giving is good because when we give, we actually get. We get God’s favor, God’s blessings, and we are draw closer to the ideal of becoming more like Christ. After all, who gave more than the One who abandoned heaven and took on the trials of the world, all for the sake of those He loves?
The problem is, those of us involved in Christian service sometimes are blinded by the inconveniences and the personal challenges that service often affords. We don’t see what we are getting because we are grudgingly doing the things God has told us for the sake of others. We complain about the toll that service takes on us, without recognizing the benefits it affords if only we’d receive them. We give not accepting that which is given in return.
We should give; of our time, our resources, our possessions and our life, because God tells us to do so, and as people who love Him, we should do the things that please Him. But in doing so, we should also recognize that God’s commands are always for our benefit. This is no less true when we are blessed through our giving.