Motivation for Giving & Sticky Hands
An interesting question I was recently challenged with – Is giving just for the benefit of the receiver of the gift?
I heard a talk from George Müller, an amazing man with great faith in God who started an orphanage from nothing, and ended up housing thousands of kids and impacting many lives.
In a talk I heard from him, George suggested that giving is not just for the benefit receiver, but also for the giver. He told a story of a poor widow who had received an inheritance and wished to donate it all to the orphanage ministry – he refused to take the money since she was so poor, but she insistently replied: “do not deny me the blessing of my gift”.
“do not deny me the blessing of my gift”
Is it selfish to want to receive a blessing from giving a gift? The blessing should really be falling on the receiver of the gift, not the giver! Well, I suppose it depends on the motive for giving – The poor widow (in George’s story) was giving out of generosity – she didn’t have much, and when she came upon some money, she gave it away! I’m not sure what she could’ve gained from giving this money (I don’t think there was any tax write off for her!), so ultimately she gave it for the benefit for the receiver… and by doing so received the blessing of being able to give.
I think there is great blessing for the giver of a gift, perhaps it’s the satisfaction of knowing that you have somehow helped someone out. But this blessing shouldn’t be your motive for giving and be sought out, rather received in complete humility, and given just like how the gift should be received…with thanks and joy! So give generously with the aim to bless others, and you might be blessed in your giving.
George was an extraordinary man it seems and was blessed with the gift of generosity. He said that over the years millions of dollars had passed through his hands, but he only ever had very little in his bank account. He said “money doesn’t stick to my hands”
“money doesn’t stick to my hands”
Whenever money came into George’s hands, he put it to good use for the benefit of others, mainly towards his Orphanage ministry. Not a bad model of generosity! If money didn’t stick to our greedy hands and sit in ‘savings’ accounts, there would be a lot more equality in the world! What are we saving for??? For most, like me, it’s the security of knowing you’ve got something ‘in the bank’ to fall back on – George didn’t need this because he had greater faith in God than me.
Check out this video which is part of the sermon I heard (no it’s not George – he was gone long before YouTube!). There are other videos for more of the sermon – I encourage you to watch to them as it is hard not to be challenged by the great faith and generosity of George.