Many guide their lives by “The Golden Rule” - “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” They do what they do, not from the goodness of their hearts, but what they want or expect from others in return for doing something. It is the old adage: “If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” Their lives become a trading post.
Others give what they give because their goal is to obligate or control people. They cannot give without grumbling. After “presenting” an object, large or small, they wait and watch to see if they will receive something appropriate in return for their “goodness.” If nothing comes, gifts stop.
Some give for recognition. They want to be praised in public places for their contributions or rewarded for being kind or being seen as a generous person. Many give because they expect to be recognized and blest by God for their gifts, trying to obligate Him for what He already owns.
Giving and doing are both good. But is there something more? “To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifices.” This proverb makes a profound statement: We can make any number of sacrifices for many different reasons, but if we do not give because we love God, live righteously, and treat others with justice, dignity and respect, it seems as though giving and doing is less than acceptable in God’s sight.
We must never forget that sacrifice is at the heart of the gospel: God sent His only begotten Son to die for us. But our giving, even sacrificially, must be done for the right reasons. We must realize that “being” is what God wants from us - beginning with “being” born again, followed by “being” righteous and just, and then followed by “being” generous for the right reasons.
Giving reflects gratitude. And if we are grateful for our salvation, we will give generously - but for the right reasons.
Prayer: May we understand, Lord, that our giving reflects our love for You. First our heads, then our hearts, and then giving “things” with our hands! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 21:3 To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifices.