2 Corinthians 9:11-12
You will be enriched in every way so that you may be generous on every occasion, which is producing through us thanksgiving to God, 12 because the service of this ministry is not only providing for the needs of the saints but is also overflowing with many thanks to God.
It feels good to give to others. Knowing that we can make a difference in someone else’s life is rewarding, but isn’t the motivation of giving. Nor should guilt over blessings in our lives be a reason, either. No – giving, like every other aspect of our lives, is for God’s glory.
To think that thoughtfulness toward another can result in praise to God humbles me. So many times I have been concerned with self and my own provision and missed opportunities to bring praise to God. When my kids and I were on our own, the need was so strong that it hurt. The sting of being alone and seemingly forgotten while others around us had all they needed began to engulf me. Looking back, God gave grace to be others-centered at first. As time went on and circumstances were dire, however, I began to forget that focusing on other’s needs was where my happiness and joy lay.
Sometimes a shift can happen without our realizing. We might have had a good foundation of generosity, but when troubles abounded, our vision became blurred. Giving can easily become a checklist and a burden instead of a privilege when we forget that our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and wants to take care of us. His care is not so we will be lavish and spoiled, but so we might help others, too.
When we choose to give despite knowing we have unmet needs, God is glorified. Who knows what our help can mean to another person? It might be their very means of grace for salvation or give them encouragement in a dry season, culminating in thanks and worship to God. That is what the purpose is in giving – helping others, which results in God receiving glory and gratitude.
We each takes turns in this life – helping others and being helped. Like washing one another’s feet, giving can be a beautiful act of service and a testimony for the world to see.
Lord, help us to see giving as being agents on Your behalf. May we never forget the generosity of your free gift of salvation and be motivated to serve others from that place of humility, all for Your glory.