We have all recently experienced the holiday season. Hopefully it was a time of great giving and sharing. Believe it or not, the principle of giving is actually essential to growing in the Christian life.  However, it is not just about giving; it is also about how one gives. Some people give so the spotlight can be on them when they want it to be. It’s not about them; but rather, the holidays are about helping others without expecting anything in return. That means unselfishly giving time and effort to support a good cause. Personally, my main focus is on pleasing the Almighty God that I serve.

In the Book of Acts 20:35 it says, “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, it is more blessed to give than to receive.” However, everyone may not understand this concept. They may not understand this important principle.

“Support the weak” (Acts 20:35).  This is about lending a helping hand to someone who may need some assistance in whatever they are trying to accomplish. Then, when the time comes when you need some help doing something, people will not mind helping you, because you helped them. If they are weak in some areas of their lives, give them words of encouragement to make their day a little brighter. Don’t bash them and tell them that it’s all their fault that they are weak. No, instead, inspire them through positive words that will help them see that it’s not the end of the world just because they are “weak” in some areas. Help them see that a brighter day is coming, and that they can see it if they won’t give up.

When you receive something, you may not always know what the other person had to do to give that thing to you. Therefore, the full desired amount of appreciation for the gift is not always comprehended. That is why we should be grateful and give thanks when people do things for us and be as appreciative as possible. On the flip side though, when you are the one giving and helping someone else to meet his or her needs, be careful that you do not give for the wrong reasons. Do not give just so you can say that the person owes you, but rather, give so that love and peace will spread through your good deeds.

Giving does not always have to be in the form of material possessions. It could be the form of sharing your knowledge to help people solve difficult situations, or even giving out a prayer for someone you know or don’t know. We can try to give like God gives to us, but it is never the same. The reason is that man can never equal God in giving. You can give all you have, but God will always be able to give much more. He never runs out of His blessings to give.

Selfishness is the one thing that prevents us from really being able to give the way we ought to. We have a tendency to focus only on what we want to do. Instead, have integrity and a humbleness about you that will help define how your giving should be. When you have integrity, your giving will be from the heart. You will not give just so you can satisfy your own motives. Your intentions for giving and helping others will be pure. When you are humble, you are not high-minded and think that you don’t have to do anything for anyone. Understand that someone did something for us and made some sacrifices so we could be where we are now. So we should be thankful for that and have the mind to give back.

Sometimes, just trying to gain the mindset to give to someone we do not particularly like can cause stress or other issues. However, if you look at 1 Corinthians 13:4-5, you’ll see that “charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.” You learn to love even the ones we call our “enemies.” For example, showing compassion for people whom we might not particularly care for can help you in leading them to Christ. They’ll see the compassion you have for them and will see how God is blessing you for your giving.

From the way in which we give, which I hope is the way God gives, unselfishly and with a cheerful heart, people will also learn to give the same way. Even if you give something you consider to be little, that “little” thing you give could make a big impact on someone’s life like you never imagined.  God bless.