Hazards Of Giving
Giving is a hard–core & clearly taught spiritual law or principle of Christianity. Giving is not easy, but it does test God’s principles. It’s a place many folks just don’t go – they might talk about it, but little action. I personally started giving at the beginning of my “renewal” in Christ Feb ’72, & learned that the Word is true on this subject – what we give does come back, as a rule. Luke 6:38. And Christ did say, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35. This means we are expected to practice giving. But what about the hazards?
As with other principles of Christianity (there are about 10 or so), giving requires a certain mindset. That is to do what one believes is right, even though others will question our motives. And we may question our own motives. It may be abusive too – titles like fool, sucker, busybody, do-gooder, religious maniac, etc. can echo in the giver’s mind. I think this is why many would–be givers don’t give, fearing rejection, & wounded pride & ego. (Of course, our adversary himself is a ruthless accuser). Practical Hazard #1 in this world of distrust is being double–crossed. That’s where a gift or good deed is done, then the recipient spitefully reacts for unknown reasons. P. H. #2 is giving to a friend or relative or charity – they may be ingrates & act like you didn’t give enough or anything at all. P. H. #3 is giving too regular so that the gift becomes a “bill” that is almost owed them. (No wonder Scrooge was so tight). It’s wise to not expect any reciprocation from a receiver, AND only in faith expect a response/return from the resources & timing of God.
Personally I had seen MUCH rewards of giving, but was prevented from seeing the worst Hazards of Giving until about 12 years into the faith. Amazingly it was a minister that proved to be quite treacherous. (See “Imposters” link 57.) Now the Bible is a book of reality, and H.O.G. are revealed there too. Joash was a king of Judah from birth. Only his grandmother Athaliah wanted the kingdom for herself & killed all her grandsons immediately when her son died – king Ahaziah. The priest Jehoiada hid baby Joash for 6 years in the temple, or he would have been “slain” too. Jehoiada promoted Joash’s crowning at age 7 & helped him to rule for 40 years. But when the priest died, Joash had his son killed. That is rotten gratitude, which is a common H.O.G. See 2 Chronicles 23-24.
Of course, the experience of Jesus Christ shows the Hazards of Giving. Who in this hard world has given more than Our Lord as He went around Palestine healing the sick & lame, replacing blind eyes, feeding thousands with miracle power, raising dead back to life, teaching folks how to be successful in life & death, then giving Himself in the Atonement for the sins of the world – John 3:16–19? That persecution, rejection, and terrible death was “hazardous” – “to the max.” And the 12 Apostles were nearly all martyred for their similar giving lifestyle & preaching. But in the final analysis, who’s shoes would we rather be in when Divine rewards are given out?? The giver’s or the taker’s?? And my 45 years of Christian experience is that Divine rewards come all along the way in the form of answered prayer, special “goodies”, & God’s blessing. See “Seed Faith” link 109. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7.
Well to finish this tough subject, I’ll just say this world has always bashed God’s principles, but they still hold true. We might do well in the art of giving to be discrete & anonymous whenever possible – “don’t let the left hand know what the right is doing.” – J.C., Matthew 6:3. The Hazards Of Giving can be minimized that way. Here is a reflection from an old dead saint, J. Oswald Sanders:
- When I am dying how glad I shall be, That the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.
- I shall be glad in whatever I gave, Labor, or money, one sinner to save;
- I shall not mind that the path has been rough, That Thy dear feet led the way is enough.
Choose Jesus and His value system, they are alive. See also “Christian Giving” link 30.
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