Ever had someone compliment you on something in hopes that you'll return the favor? "That's a beautiful necklace," they say, hoping to hear you comment on the beauty of their necklace, which they just received for their birthday. "You did a great job during the presentation," they'll offer up after a business meeting, hoping to get some encouragement from you about their portion of the presentation. They're doing something that's basically good, but the motivation isn't pure. They're giving in order to get.
"Then Jesus said to his host, 'When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.'" - Luke 14:12-14
In the example Jesus gives we're not supposed to give something in the hopes of getting something. We know God sees our actions and will reward us in due time, and that should be good enough for us. There are times when that isn't enough for some. But Jesus is inviting us to give ourselves without expecting anything in return. He wants us to give to others simply for the sake of giving. Because he is our reward. It's tough, and sometimes it takes grace.
Jesus never wants us to waste our time seeking the praise of the world. That is not where your confidence is built and your talent used best. Jesus simply wants us to give of ourselves without any assurance that the people we give to will accept our gifts. It is the giving he is concerned with; the reward will come.
With the holiday season upon us, I challenge you to give without much thought of getting anything in return. Whether it's the gift of time or your talents or a gift that's purchased with thought and care, be a blessing to that someone.
Created Woman partnered with the National Day of Giving taking place this Tuesday, December 2nd where charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. We hope you join us to help equip and empower women to be who they are created to be, inside and out, through education and resources by making a donation to the Created Woman Foundation. Click here to read how your donation will be utilized within the foundation.