Thursday, Feb. 18
“You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.”—Amy Carmichael. Let’s pursue this. The Boy Scouts come by to solicit help in collecting food for the needy. I’m faced with a decision. I give to my church and through my church. I choose where I want my money to go. But here is an option outside my normal giving pattern. I wonder how great the need is. Maybe they are in need because they choose not to work. Yet here are boys who are putting out an effort to help them. I compromise and give them $5. Did I give out of love? Is $5 the measure of my love? It’s more likely my reputation or a sense of duty. Someone once said that it’s not how much we give, but how much we have left after we give. Jesus taught this. Luke 21:1-4. “As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” He stopped a bit short of saying that the wealthy givers were not rewarded, but you could easily make that conclusion. He definitely implied that the widow’s giving had eternal value. The core message is that giving, like all other good acts, must come from the heart. There was a love relationship involved here. The wealthy loved their reputation. The widow loved her God. The second part of Amy’s statement is equally important. You can’t love without giving. You have to give if you love. Giving is a natural overflowing of a love relationship. And the giving is not limited to dollars and cents. It includes time, effort, and sacrifice. I don’t do things for my wife out of duty; it’s a natural response to a love relationship. If I give little, it’s because my love is little. Now I’m opening up a can of worms, so I will terminate this little blog.