Many people enjoy giving gifts or helping others in need. Some give large, notable amounts of funds while others give small and discreet gifts. It is part of our human nature to give, but unfortunately, the purpose behind the giving can vary from one side to the other. As believers, our giving must be from a pure heart, and when in doubt we must always ask ourselves, “What is my motive for giving?”
The New Testament is filled with instruction for believers to encourage us and direct us to follow the ways of the Lord. Often, we do what we do out of obedience—we give because Jesus said that we should give to the poor—and it is good to obey God. However, we also need to realize that Jesus is telling us that this is the way we should act. In other words, these are the works that we are to do as His followers in this dark world.
- For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.—Ephesians 2:10
Many times we are given an opportunity to give money or to donate something to help someone else, and each time we must question our motive. Are we giving because the person needs this and we have it to give? Are we giving with a cheerful heart or are we giving because it will make us look really good before the rest of the people?
As we grow, God’s Spirit in us fills us with His truth and what we learn becomes part of who we are. When we were of the world, we perhaps didn’t think twice about taking things home from work for our own personal use, using the reasoning that work can afford it and won’t miss it. However, once we are saved and experience God’s love and learn His laws, we realize that it’s stealing and we don’t want to do it anymore because we love God.
- Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.—Proverbs 4:23
We belong to Jesus now and we want to fill ourselves up daily with His Word, but the world around us will continue to pounce on us, work its lies and deceptions on us, and try to trick us and convince us that we don’t need to change who we were to be a follower of Christ. But when we read our Bible and spend time in prayer and worship, God’s truth fills our heart and we want to do what is right before God. We won’t want to do things to impress people but rather, the motive for what we do will be to please and bless God.
This is why one of the toughest things to learn and get right in our lives is humility. We are not to be humble towards the world, but rather, loving and giving believers with the heart of God just as Jesus was with all the people that came to Him for help. Our humility is towards God! He loves us so much that He was willing to come to earth and die for us so that we could be cleansed of all sin and live with Him forever. We belong to God, to His Kingdom; we were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20), which means that our purpose for living and our greatest joy should be to please Him.
- Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.—James 4:10
We live in this sinful world and we are surrounded by evil and temptation all the time, but we don’t belong to this world anymore. Our heart is no longer defiled but pure because of the shed blood of Jesus. Therefore, our master is no longer the ruler of this world but is God! He is the One we work hard to please, and everything we do should be done with a heart of love that wants to do God’s will and for HIS glory.
This attitude needs to always be who we are on the inside, because it’s the foundation of who we portray ourselves to be through our testimony on the outside. Whatever we do or say should always be done and spoken as if Jesus were doing or speaking it because we are His representatives now on this earth, and the only Bible some people may ever read is our testimony of Christ.
Sadly, many Christians love to give but for all the wrong reasons. Some want others to take notice of what a great person they are, and they live to hear praises from others for their good works (John 12:43). They don’t realize that the purpose of good works is to let people see God in us so they can see and experience His love for them. Good works are to give God the glory, not so we can take it for ourselves.
We will often be faced with the challenge of giving offerings or helping others, and sometimes we won’t be sure if we should do it or even if we are thinking of doing it for the right reasons. This is when we need to ask ourselves, “What is the motive for me doing this? Why do I want to do this?” If the answer is because it’s God’s will, because Jesus said we should do it or because we share God’s love for people and we want to help them so that they can know God and give the glory to Him, then we are doing it for the right reasons. If we do it because it makes us look good, or because it’s an investment into God’s blessings as many false Christian leaders would have us believe [“Give til it hurts and God will bless it tenfold….”] then we are doing it all for the wrong reasons. We won’t reap blessings from God, but instead, risk getting His judgment for using His name for our own lust.
We are supposed to good works so that others can see God through us. We do all we do to the glory of God and don’t brag to anyone about our good deeds. Our motive for everything we do should be to bless God, and if we aren’t sure, then we should pray and ask God to help us know what our motive is for doing something.
- Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.—Matthew 5:16
As God’s children, we must know the motive behind our actions because then as we learn and grow in the Lord, our light will shine with God’s love as we do good works to win souls for God’s Kingdom, and all for His glory.
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Thanks for stopping by. Have a blessed day! … ronnie