June 20, 2024

How Does Charity Benefit Us?

It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35).  Why does charity bless us?

God does not like selfishness.  In selfishness, a person steals from God.  God calls everything “His.”  The firstborn (Numbers 3:13), kingdoms (1 Kings 2:15), people (Isaiah 43:1), silver and gold (Haggai 2:8), vengeance (Hebrews 10:30), even the earth and everything in it (Psalm 24:1) are His.  On the other hand, God also does not condone selflessness.  Coming to him to drink (John 7:37) is righteousness and forsaking the Fountain of Life is sin (Jer. 2:13).  Fasting is always temporary, and always for something greater.  In fact, selflessness is impossible.  Who has anything he did not receive from God?  If everything you have was given to you, how can giving anything away be a sacrifice?

Something good happens when we are humbly charitable.  Matthew 6:1-4 may address what happens.  Verse 1 presents giving outcomes: be rewarded by people or be rewarded by God.  God advocates for His reward because it is imperishable (Matthew 6:19).  This imperishable reward goes well with the Christian’s imperishable body (1 Cor 15:52).  The reward for charity is inevitable, and God states you should receive that reward from Him.

Second, charity is giving to someone in need, and especially someone whose need is greater or more immanent than yours.  For the Christian, people with greater need include everyone since God supplies all that we need (Phil 4:19), and does it daily (Matt 6:11).  Jesus was poor (Matt 8:20) and he identifies with the poor (Matt 25:45).  God has no needs and no person can give God anything (since all belongs to God), but the Bible is clear that giving to the poor is giving to God.  God repays (Rom 12:19). 

Jesus commands us in Luke 14:12-14 to invite people to your house that cannot repay you.  There is no chance of selflessness in invitations to those who cannot repay because God will repay.  Your contribution cannot go unnoticed, even if you try to hide it (Matt 6:4).  Indeed, Jesus says He will repay you with things far superior to that which you gave.  This is why it is more blessed to give than receive.

AJ Switzer

This name is a moniker so that the text can speak for itself. I am developing what I can write about more than how I write. I use AI to edit my stuff.

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