If you are an African, then you know, in some African countries, it’s normal to live with your extended family. I remember when I was young before my parents got divorced, we used to live with different family members, and because our family tree is so big, I told myself I was going to know each family member without even trying to understanding of whom the son or daughter is, not until I get to meet them. For instance, my Dad would say, this is your Cousin, a child of your Uncle so and so, and in my head I would be thinking like, “Dad, I honestly don’t even remember my Uncle so and so.” But my parents made sure we would live as one family, because we were related.
I have learned about the power of giving through my Mama. By the way Mama means Mother in Swahili language. My Mom is a serious giving person. In my life, since I can remember as a young child, I have watched her giving everything she has got to us, her children, but also other family members, immediate and extended family members. I have seen her giving constantly to other people. Sometimes I am amazed of how she could have given in some circumstances without holding grudges. Most of the time she would give without expecting getting anything back. If you asked her, “Mama, how come you were able to do that?” and she would say, “Mwanangu,Tenda Wema Nenda Zako” which is a famous and common Swahili proverb that in English is like saying, My Child, “Do Good and Go Your Way.”
People give for a lot of reasons, but there two types of giving that inspire me.
- We give to get
It is true that sometimes we give because we expect to get something back. Can we be honest? Some of us give because we expect to get back. Now, we may give something, but expect something else back. It doesn’t necessary have to be in the same kind or form that we gave, but we sure expect something back in return. If we did someone a favor, then we expect one day, either from that same person we gave, or from a different person, we will also receive a favor. I have discussed about this in more details in the “Law of Reciprocity.” The world gives you what you give to the world. And it doesn’t have to come from the receiver you have given to, or at the same time; it can come from someone else in the world at another time.
Traditional, Christmas is a season of giving. It is during Christmas, Christ was born. It is during Christmas, God gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to the world, as a token to show His love for us. We all know, God created us, gave us the earth to live in, provided everything we need from the beginning, the plants, animals, living things, fruits, and all that is within the earth, so that we can live and enjoy His blessings and creations. He gave us the intelligence, and set us above all animals. But when Jesus Christ came to this earth, it proves that God loves us so much to send His only Son, to save us all human kinds from our sins. There is no one He could have sent, no one who qualified to help us, expect Jesus Christ, so that God could win all of us to Himself, as adopted Sons and Daughters of God. Jesus was God’s best that He could give to the world and humanity to show us what it actually means to be a Son or Child of God. He gave His only Child to the world, expecting to get back more Christ-like children in return from the world. It is our sins that separated us from God, and kept us from God. It is our sins that make us unclean, and unworthy to return and dwell in the presence of our Heavenly Father God. It is our sins that bring anguish to our souls in this present life.
Therefore, Jesus came and took care of that, on the cross when He said it is finished, the wrath or punishment for our sins where put on Him, and through Jesus our debts for our sins were paid. Now when we accept Jesus Christ into our lives, not only we become born-again, and given a new life and nature that has no desire to sin anymore, but we are also made children of God, Sons and Daughters of God, and also receive forgiveness for our Sins. In the book of Galatians chapter 4 verse 6, it says, “And because we are His children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”
The penalty or consequences for our sins is death. So when Jesus was the only sacrifice that qualified to pay our debts. In Old Testament and Covenant, usually when people sinned, they would sacrifice and slay animals, and their blood would serve as the ransom for the forgiveness of their sins. In New Testament and Covenant, you don’t have to sacrifice anything, because Jesus, The Lamb of God, was slain, and made a sacrifice for all of our sins, and through the blood that He shed, He made a new Covenant. And with Him, and in Him, we are saved. Have you ever heard of that song that says, “What can wash away our sins, nothing but the Blood of Jesus. What can make us whole again, nothing but the Blood of Jesus.” Jesus is the only way for us to be forgiven of our sins. And when we repent of our sins, and rely on His saving grace, we will be cleansed from sin. Another best part is that Jesus conquered death, on the third day, He rose from the dead. That’s good news for us. In the book of Romans chapter 8 verse 11, it says, “The Spirit of God, Who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”
During Christmas holiday for instance; people would save their money ahead of time, make lists of the gifts they are going to get for their loved ones, friends, colleagues, and et cetera. And we would spend time wrapping those gifts, writing few words on the Christmas cards. Traditional, Christmas is a season of giving. But even though we are expected to give, but we also expect to receive.
In the book of Luke chapter 6 verse 38, reading from New King James Bible version, Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
So, it’s a blessing to give, and with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.
- We give because we love
Jesus said in the book of John chapter 15 verse 13, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
It’s possible to give without love, but it’s impossible to love without giving.
One of the biggest signs for someone to know that you love them is through your actions, and giving is the huge part of showing your love for someone. Depending on our motives for giving, it’s possible you can give without loving someone, but you cannot love without giving. And most of the time it starts with your heart, and then through that you give many other things. “Baby, here is my wallet, my bank account, keys to my house; you can have them all. I am also giving you my children, my parents, they are all yours. Whatever is mine is yours, including my time, my business, just be careful and don’t break my heart…hahaha.” Love is something else my friend. It’s the best thing you can experience, but it’s dangerous because it can tear you apart any moment. The people who are hurt the most during breakups, and divorces, are the ones who loved the most. Breaking up when you are not in love is easy, but man, you have not been hurt, until you have loved.
There is something that I would like to show you from the following Bible passage. It looks like Jesus had a choice. It looks like He volunteered to come to earth and sacrificed Himself. God the Father didn’t force Him to come and died for us.
In the book of John chapter 10 reading from verse 11 to 18, Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
Until you realize how much Jesus loves you, you will not know how to love others. Love is a choice.
Some people give themselves, things, and whatever you can possibly think to give, because love is the reason behind it. Because of His love for us, Jesus gave His own life to save us from our sins, and spiritual death. In the first book of John chapter 2 verse 2, reading from New Living Bible Translation, it says, “He Himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins, and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.” Perhaps you also have been in a situation once where you decided to give someone you love dearly your best gift you can ever give as an act to show your love for this someone without expecting anything back but only for that person to say yes, and be willing to receive that gift. That is what Jesus did; and all we have got to do is to receive the gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ.
We give because we love. I have learned that through my Mama, all my life I have seen her constantly giving without expecting anything back in return from her children and all other people she has been influencing to this day through her nature of giving. She is not a wealthy woman in terms of material possessions, but with what she has, even it may look small to you, she still finds means she can give. I don’t know if I can be like her, or if I want too, but if I can only be a giver, just a little bit more like her, it would be great.
In the second book of Corinthians chapter 9, verse 6 to 8, Apostle Paul said, “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”
So, whether we give to get something back, or give because we just want to give without any expectations of getting anything n return, the fact is that the act of giving is a blessing. It’s a blessing to give as well as to receive.
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