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Wednesday, October 16, 2019 other day's devotionals

Today's Devotional Reading
Giving Appropriately

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For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets (Matthew 7:8-12).

The words of Jesus draw us to consider the absurd as we read the passage shown above. We cannot imagine anyone giving a stone or a serpent to a son who asks for something to eat. To consider doing so would mean that you would be crazy. Instead, as Jesus points out, we would give a child the things that are good for that child. We would use wisdom and sound judgment, and to the best of our abilities we would seek to give that which is best, and that which is appropriate.
In fact, consider reasons why we should give anything to anyone for reasons other than those that are thought out and wisely concluded. For what purpose would there be in trying to serve someone who need not be served, or in trying to help someone who need not be helped? What purpose would there be in stopping to help someone change a flat tire when they are almost half finished with the job and appear to be doing the job quite well on their own? And what purpose is there in giving money to someone who has no need for any more? What is there to gain and who is it who will gain when help is offered where none is required?
Although the best intentions are present, being too helpful could sometimes be as bad as not helping when one needs help. Imagine if you will that Jesus comes upon a man sitting on a bench. The man appears to be resting, but suddenly he hears Jesus say, "Rise up and walk." The implication of course is that Jesus is trying to heal the man--a man who can already walk. Of course that is ludicrous to consider that Jesus would ever do such a thing. For though we see in our Lord His willingness to serve and to give, we also see the wisdom in which He administers what He has to give.
It may be that we have a deep down desire to be better givers. We read in the Bible that "God loveth a cheerful giver" and we are motivated toward generosity. But the way we give is certainly as important as the giving. 2 Corinthians 9:7, wherein we find the words, "God loveth a cheerful giver," we also find some guidelines for the way to give. We are told, "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity." The quality of giving is weighed through wise and appropriate administration. We are not to give so as not to feel guilt, yet we are also not to give for the sake of giving alone. The gift should be appropriate for the receiver.
If we look for somewhere to serve or some way to give, we can probably come up with something. But giving and serving should be a response to a need that God has made you aware of. To do otherwise can easily snare us in a trap of ritualistic or religious giving that is done more often than not for the sake of the giver, rather than the receiver.
May God grant us wisdom to give appropriately, "not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."

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