All of us, each and every day are in pursuit of happiness; that is hope. But real hope and happiness does not have its origin in worldly things where it can be trapped; it encompasses and gives life to those things, which otherwise would be hollow instead of hallow. These thoughts raised up a curious chain of idea's which began with this:
People want to give; but they do not want to be taken advantage of.If we desire to give and our motivation is to give someone the advantage of receiving our gift, then there should be no rub in the passing. This means that we have to look at where the friction might take place. We will not retrace our topics on view points and gifts today. If you have not been with us during those discussions click on the link enclosed through-out this post.
God's word explains that we should give when we are empowered to do so. He also shares with us several view points to encourage us as we discern all the actions and emotions taking place. When we give freely from the wealth which He has hidden within us, we shine brightly and spotlight charity, revealing His presence in their time of need. He came to give others THE advantage. He gives without hypocrisy, without expectation of reciprocity because He needs nothing and gives what cannot be obtained through man's means.
The rub only comes if someone must pry our fingers from what ever is being extended, in order to take possession and leave our presence. Sometimes we are remiss to recall the stance of the giver: they have no authority or rights to whatever is given away. It no longer belongs to the them, once it passes into the possession of the receiver. The other person is now the owner and the use or lack there of is for at their discretion. If an invitation is extended we may join in with their experience and celebrate.
Sometimes the giver feels a slight...rub, as if something is not as satisfying as it should be. Our reward should be the satisfaction of giving another an advantage. In so doing we exemplify the priceless advantage which Christ gave us. His advantage was like a rare, one of a kind, irreplaceable gemstone which came straight from the compassionate heart of the Magnificent Giver. James 1:17 states it best, in my opinion:
Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
When we stand by waiting for acknowledgement or an exchange of some type we are expecting some type of closure before we can stamp the experience "satisfied". Obviously, this means the blister is being produced due to the obstacle of our own need for due satisfaction; underneath it all we were in pursuit of our own happiness.
Paul wisely addressed this issue in verse 6 and 9 of the same chapter:
"But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment".
But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.
When we read the first verse it feels smooth to the senses, peaceful.....But the second is filled with obstacles, bumping and tenderness, depression and disappointment.
Paul comes to a close by telling Timothy to share these instructions with others in Christ for the building up of His image and not the "branding" of the man's image. This is another common struggle we have with the ancient world. Something are simply human nature and human nature is not the nature of Christ (verse 17-19):
Instruct those who are rich in this present world:
- Not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
- to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share ~ storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
I will end today, asking for you to think about times when you have felt like you wanted to give, but held back due to thoughts of being taken advantage of. Think about times when you gave but felt slighted, maybe a bit bitter.....you kind of felt that rub. As Paul wrote to Timothy, I write this to each of us; just fill the blank with your name:
"O, _________________, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly empty chatter ~ the opposing arguments of what is falsely called knowledge ~ which some have professed....and in this gone astray from the faith."
"Grace be with you....."