More Blessed to Give? (Acts 20:35)
…help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.' —Acts 20:35
It runs counter to every natural hoarding desire we possess. How can it be better to give away goods than to keep them for ourselves? It doesn’t seem possible, but it’s true. Jesus not only said it, he lived it. It is more blessed to give than to receive.
How can this be so? The Bible teaches many ways in which our hearts can be transformed from a ‘gimme’ heart to a ‘giver’ heart. Here are just five:
First, giving is more blessed than receiving because in giving we live honorably before God who gives us all we have. Every blessing we enjoy comes to us not as a wage, but a gift (1 Corinthians 4:7). Honor and integrity can’t help but agree with Jesus when he instructs us to give just as freely as we have received, “You received without paying; give without pay” (Matthew 10:8). Giving bears the simple blessing of honor before God.
Second, when we give freely, God freely supplies even more to us. Consider Proverbs 19, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed” (v. 17). You can’t out-give God. The more we give away, the more he supplies to us. He loves to bless givers! He rewards conduits more than cul-de-sacs!
Giving to others blesses our hearts because we see God receiving greater thanksgiving by our gift. Paul writes to the Corinthians, “You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:11). All who love God rejoice to give freely knowing he is receiving even more thanks and praise.
Give Like God
Fourth, giving freely comes with the unspeakable blessing that when we give we are being very much like God himself. He gives generously to us ‘every perfect gift’ including wisdom (James 1:17). Like a kind father he gives us food, clothing and all things, even his Holy Spirit to those who ask (Luke 11:13). How can we who bear his image, not desire to give as freely as He gives?
Giving Reveals True Life
Finally, Paul instructs those with means to be “rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:18–19). Generous giving confirms the eternal life that awaits all who treasure Christ.
Not all givers are born again in Jesus Christ. But no one who is truly born again refuses to give freely and thus confirm the greatest blessing of eternal life with Christ.
Indeed it is more blessed to give than to receive!
Are you mainly a person seeking to get or one seeking to give?
Do you feel cheated in any area of your life? How could intentional giving reverse that feeling?
What generosity might well up in you as you ponder how very much you have received in Christ, and ask him to renew in you his heart to give?