“Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.” ~ Matthew 5:42
“Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.” ~ Luke 6:30
One of the hallmarks of a Believer is his/her attitude to giving. Our normal, human tendency is to focus on getting/receiving for ourselves, our families and/or our communities. Therefore, we often make decisions based on what we can get out of the outcome. Even in the church, many preachments today center on what we can get from God rather than on what we should give to God.
In contrast, Jesus teaches us to concentrate our efforts on giving. And, in giving, not to be concerned about the qualities of the receiver: “Give to EVERY man that asketh of thee”.
Notice in our text that the qualities of the receiver are not mentioned. Jesus never said give to every ‘good’ man or every ‘worthy’ man or even every ‘poor’ man. And that is because giving is never about the receiver; rather, giving is about the giver.
Giving to others, especially when you don’t have much for yourself, requires faith. As Jesus pointed out, the widow had great faith because she gave out of her poverty, while others just gave out of their wealth (Luke 21:1-5).
Giving, sharing with others the little we have, requires us to depend on God to supply our needs. It means that we have placed our security, our future well being in His hands. It means that we truly believe Him when he says He will take care of all our needs (Matthew 6:9-34).
In addition to our attitude to God, giving also reveals our attitude to our brothers/sisters. Giving shows that we value their well being even more than our own. It is the characteristic sign of selflessness. Giving when we don’t even have much to give means that we are willing to secure someone else’s future before we secure our own; that we will put them in the lifeboat, while we stand on the sinking ship.
There my friends are the real challenges; despite our many excuses the real reasons that we have so much trouble giving is that our faith in God is weak. We are not so sure He will see us through the storms of life, so we accumulate the biggest safety nets our consciences afford us. Likewise, we are often not convinced that our brother/sister deserves to be honored above us. Why should we be concerned enough about his security to risk our own?
So when Jesus challenged us to give freely, He was also challenging us to grow in faith in God and to grow in love for our brethren.
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” ~ Galatians 6:2
“Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.” ~ Ecclesiastes 11:1