Here is a test of your ability to identify a very famous person who lived in the 20th century and made the following statements:
"There is enough for the needy but not for the greedy"
"There is more to life than increasing its speed."
"The slave clings to his chains and he must have them struck from him."
"All fear is a sign of want of faith."
"To a man with an empty stomach food is God."
"I have known many meateaters to be far more non-violent than vegetarians."
"No sacrifice is worth the name unless it is a joy."
In case you were wondering, all these thing were spoken by Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) who was perhaps the greatest spiritual and political leader in India’s history. Whether one agrees with his philosophies or beliefs or not, there is no denying the man was incredibly wise as evidenced by some of the statements above.
Gandhi’s quote about sacrifice is the reason for this world history lesson for I think too many times people confuse the act of sacrificing with being automatically profitable when in reality that is not the case. Look at what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 says in the NKJV:
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing."
There is a song I have heard for 40 years which I dearly love that has the following line in it:
"I was doing all the right things for all the wrong reasons."
That which is done is not what is most important in this life but rather that it is done with love. A person can give away all his material possessions to feed the poor and have it profit him nothing if it is not done in love. A person could serve 80 hours a week doing the work of the Lord and all he/she will have to show for it is burn out if not done in love.
In order for us to receive profit from our giving (whether spiritual, financial or of our selves), it needs to be done out of a heart filled with love and compassion. Over the years I have seen many people (myself included) go through all the right motions and appear to be doing all the right things, yet they end up discouraged, angry and destitute. Surely this is not what God intended.
No sacrifice is worth it unless it is done with joy. God is not interested in going through motions. What God looks at is the heart and the motive of the heart. We do not give because he have to, we give because we WANT to reciprocate for all we have been given. Giving, in any realm, is supposed to be the spontaneous outpouring of thanksgiving arising from the deep appreciation of something received.
As we determine each day/week/month what and how much to give of our money, time, talents and heart; please make sure to check the motive along with the resources. God loves a cheerful giver and never wants His people to give out of necessity or grudgingly. From what God has provided we are to give and do with a smile on our face and joy in our heart.
Amen brother!! Such is one of the characteristics of a close walk with Him. He changes us to the point where what would previously be seen as sacrifices become natural, even a necessity. With it it brings great joy and power. A friend of mine is that way, she used to be very stingy with her time and her privacy, today, all she gives is of her time and herself. We all say that she makes such sacrifices and how she seems to have such boundless energy, yet her reply has always been with a smile, "I just had to."
Dear B2Y--Some years back, I worked at a food pantry where two supervisors interviewed folks who came for help. With one, the people came in the door, got their food and left as soon as possible. With the other, they'd hang around and talk for as long as that supervisor could engage in conversation.
The first supervisor talked about them as though they were there to rip us off and had no desire to rise above their circumstances. The second supervisor talked about them with compassion, like they were God's creation who weren't bad people--just bad off.
Philosophers and theologians have tried to define love and compassion for thousands of years, and find that doing so is like nailing Jello to the wall. But to a person who is hungry for them, love and compassion can be sensed just like a thirsty animal can smell water from miles away. They can also sense contempt and disgust just as strongly.
Of course, you and I know that God is love, and our attitude--like that second supervisor's--should be that of a magnet, drawing people into Him
When He went after Peter to bring Him back, He did not tell Peter to get back to work, but rather reminded Peter that out of Love for Jesus is where our service is born. "Do you love Me?, then feed my sheep" Our motive for anything done for the Kingdom should be brought forth out of our love for Jesus.
Thanks for sharing,