“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’” Matthew 25:40 NLT
She wanted others to have the educational opportunity she never received, so she gave.
America was stunned in 1995 when an elderly woman named Oseola McCarty donated $150,000 to the University of Mississippi for their scholarship fund. She was 87 and had been forced to drop out of school in the sixth grade to care for her family. For sixty years, she had made a living washing clothes for hire in Hattiesburg, saving as much as she could. Now she wanted others to have educational opportunities she hadn’t and made that possible by giving away her life savings to the school.
Comparatively, what she gave might not have seemed like much. Like the ones Jesus told about in His story about the final judgment. They were allowed into His eternal Kingdom because they responded when they saw Him thirsty and hungry, when they visited Him in prison, when they gave Him clothes, and when they visited Him when He was sick. By doing such things for others, Jesus told them they had actually done them to Him.
Giving is parcel to the original human genome. Adam gave to the animals by naming them. He gave to Eve by loving her. They gave to each other and to the garden God placed them in by tending to the animals and plants. And they gave to their children and grandchildren.
Giving is God’s plan. The entire Bible illuminates the principle in one way or another. Jesus illustrates it well in the story of the widow who placed her last piece of money into the Temple treasury. Jesus took giving to the maximum by giving Himself on the cross.
For believers, giving should be a lifestyle. It’s more than throwing money in a church offering plate and thinking I’ve done my part—although that is my part. Giving is searching for opportunities to give in ways that make a difference in other’s lives. That causes them to take notice and wonder why I’m helping them. Giving is petitioning God for the opportunities and the means with which to share my time, talents, and money.
Giving until it hurts is a lifetime of actions—prompted by pure motives—in which I lay down myself for them as Christ did His life for the world.
Ask for giving opportunities, and watch what God will do through you.
Tweetable: Is your giving hurting you?
Prayer: Father, give us the opportunities and the desire to pour ourselves into the lives of others.