Sunday, 26 July 2015

True giving as love

The modern world has no concept of giving. Any sacrifice required to be given by a person in the modern world is seen as 'oppression' and 'slavery'. Giving is not only a foreign concept in the modern world, but an anathema to the individual's freedom, liberty, rights and empowerment. 

There is no doubt many evils of the modern world. The root of all evils is always the desire to serve oneself, and thereby serve mammon (Matthew 6:24-34; 1 Timothy 6:9-10). The root of all sins of the desire to serve the flesh - "lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life" (1 John 2:16). The more an act enables a person to gratify these evil desires, the more pleasurable it is to the flesh. However, this fleeting pleasure of sin has a catch to it - it kills, and the world knows this not. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). 

Giving is an unknown attribute to the human flesh which by only ever seeks to take. He who lives by the flesh, as such, is blinded into thinking that he deserves what he is given, and that anything that he is given which he does not like or appreciate is 

Giving is a command of the Bible. Throughout the Bible, God's people are told to give. However, giving itself as a act does not mean that one is righteous at all. Even the sinners, that is the unsaved, can give. The sacrifices the people of Israel gave in the book of Isaiah was hated by God: "Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting" (Isaiah 1:13). 

Many Christians talk about simply giving, imply that when one gives, one is righteous. While it is true that the righteous give generously (Psalm 37:21), acts of giving are not necessarily righteous. Whether an act of giving is righteous is determined by the manner of spirit in which one gives, and the motive. Proverbs 21:27 makes it very clear that "The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?

You may say, "but I'm not a wicked person, I am right in the eyes of God". The issue is not merely just to not give with wicked motives, or with even just merely selfish motives. The issue is whether one gives selflessly, that is, not grudgingly or out of obligation, but cheerfully: Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 2:9:7). It is not enough to give not grudgingly or out of necessity for anyone, even the unsaved can give in a way that is not grudging or out of obligation. No! 

One must give cheerfully, with a joy of giving  for one's acts of giving to be counted righteous in the sight of the Lord. Giving without joy to give is a work of the dead for it is to give out of a spirit of seeking gain for oneself. Seeking gain for oneself does not only manifest in giving to seek return, giving grudgingly or giving only out of mere obligation. Seeking self-gain manifests itself in even the failure to give with joy. 

Giving without the joy of giving is not giving at all for true giving is done out of love. Love is not self-seeking, insisting on its own way (1 Corinthians 13:5). The failure to give up one's absolutely all of one's own self-interest itself is a failure to love. Hence, this is why Jesus said that to follow Him, which means to love God with all one's heart, mind, spirit and strength, and to love one's neighbour as oneself (Matthew 22:37-40), one must give up absolutely all of what one has. This is exactly what Matthew 16:24 means: "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me". It is to give up your whole self, and surrender yourself fully to God without even the slightest bit of compromise. 

You may still argue that don't the wicked borrow without repaying (Psalm 37:21). That is true. However, such an argument posed in response to the Biblical command to give is not addressing the matter at hand. Thus, it is an excuse used by those who wish to argue that the wicked borrow without repaying, to justify one's failure to give selflessly and freely without expecting anything in return. 

While it is true that the wicked borrow and do not repay, it is equally wicked to not give selflessly and freely for even the sinners can.give. In Luke 6:34, Jesus said "And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again". 

It is of the flesh that one expects in return. Those who live by or, in the case of the true Christian, fall into succumbing to the flesh think that one 'deserves' to receive back what one has given. He does not even question this as he thinks that he is, of course, entitled to receive back what he has given out of his own lust of the flesh and pride of life. 

None of us deserve anything at all, that is, literally anything at all, not metaphorically, but literally. We humans are the mere clay pots, and God is the potter (Isaiah 64:8). So, who are mere fallen, vile, abominable human beings to even think we have "rights"? 

True giving gives out of joy and selfless love for others, expecting nothing in return, and humbly acknowledging that one does not deserve anything at all, not even in the slightest. False giving gives grudgingly, or out of obligation, expecting that it deserves something in return. 

And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil (Luke 6:34-35).