A young man wanted to know the difference between heaven and hell. He asked a wise man who led him to see two rooms with observation portals, one labeled heaven and one labeled hell. Looking into hell he saw a banquet table filled with luscious food but the people at the table were thin, looked hungry and were distressed. Their spoons had long handles to reach the food, but the handles were too long to bring the food to their mouths. Then the young man looked through the portal into heaven. He saw the same table full of delicious food. The people were using the same long spoons. But the people were healthy and happy, because they were using their long-handled spoons to feed one another.
Many studies have shown that people who are willing to share what they have with others are happier and more fulfilled. There are less materialistic, less status conscious, more interested in personal growth, friends, family, and participating in the life of their community. Happiness studies confirm again and again that these are the elements of a fulfilling existence.
The Bible is full of promises stating that our kind actions will be rewarded with kindness – that we sow what we reap. Love, and you will be loved; forgive and you will be forgiven; give and you will receive. The old proverb says, “When one hand washes another, both become clean.” Peter, we don’t do acts of kindness for selfish reasons, of course. However, it is motivating to realize that acts of kindness most often come back to us like a boomerang. “What goes around, comes around!”
Being realistic, sometimes people do take advantage of our kindness. This is no reason to stop … the Bible encourages us to “give without expecting anything in return.” When we develop this habit, we step out of a transactional mindset (you do this, then I’ll do that) towards a covenant mindset (I’ll do this … because I love you.)
Jesus told us, “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High.” (Luke 6.35).
I believe that Jesus is encouraging generosity, not greediness. The reward may be act of kindness from others, but the big prize is growing in Christ-likeness and enjoying all the benefits of being sons and daughters of God.
You are never more like Jesus, than when you are giving!
Thank you for allowing me to walk with you on your financial journey.