A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS 43: the victorious Giving

Windows of giving.
1 John 3:16Today we open the Book to the word GIVE. This could mean life and death. Without someone giving the right provision at the right time to another person selflessly, the would-be recipient may have perished. For example, giving of direction to the right road, giving of the right type and quantity of food, giving of warm and safe board and lodging in the freezing cold, and even giving of precious blood to save someone in critical need. Human have physical bodies and often the giving we need is in the physical.

There are other forms of giving too. For example, the ancient poet said,
“Your righteous testimonies are everlasting and Your decrees are binding to eternity; give me understanding and I shall live [give me discernment and comprehension and I shall not die].” (Psalm 119:144) This apparently refers to a higher wisdom and counsel which go beyond the human mind. To continue to keep up with the increasingly self-loving, crafty (multiplied exponentially by scientific and technological development), deceptive and unscrupulous physical world, an average human needs far more than what we have been taught by today’s education system or whatever words of wisdom (which often fall on deaf ears of today’s children) our parents have tried to impart to us based on what they had acquired and received. We can never catch up with the fast and ever-changing physical world.

But human nature has not changed. Survival strategies in a normal community are often based on generic inbuilt concepts of good and bad. How to decide what is good or bad? Often decisions are based on a number of generic social economic factors: agreed definition and standard of morality, code of ethics for economic conduct, code of social/relationship interactions with one another in the same community. By mutual adherence to such agreed beliefs and practices the family/community members can continue their peaceful co-existence.

One key success factor is giving. The ability and willingness to give (often more than what is required by legal binding covenant) enhances the quality of living together. It requires a higher belief and value system to give unconditionally and selflessly. One cannot give what one does not have. If a person gives at the expense of another person then it is not giving. The ultimate value behind giving has to be love. A love higher than human love.

Where does such a love come from? This spirit-mind man looks at this from a Christian perspective. Our God has revealed to us that He is love. He has demonstrated love historically by giving to us His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross and atone for us so that we can freely and boldly interact with God as children of the righteous God through Jesus (now the resurrected Christ). Our human mind cannot understand this completely but it does not stop us from receiving this love by faith. His kind of love is pure and without selfish agenda. How do we apply to others? We are human. Every born again Christian is also given the Holy Spirit who lives in us and gives us strength to apply God’s love for others. This means we are supernatural and not just human when it comes to applying God’s goodness.

Why do we not see this wonderful powerful supernatural love manifesting in all Christians? As we are human, we can be hindered by our flesh (hampered by un-renewed mind which in turn controls our body and emotion). Some may be subject to the influences of demons. The Bible clearly records instances of demons influencing people’s lives. Persistent seeking an intimate relationship with God through reading and applying His words, prayers and worship, and fellowship with other Christians who similarly seek God and love God are ways to establish a firm foundation in one’s relationship with God. Transformation of our character comes as a process as our minds are being renewed. God’s presence becomes real and clear in our mind. In times of uncertainty we walk by clarity in decisions and not confusion.

Why do we focus on talking about the kind of love Christians can give to others in this world? Christians remained the largest religious group in the world in 2015, making up nearly a third (31%) of Earth’s 7.3 billion people, according to a new Pew Research Center demographic analysis. Just imagine the supernatural power of love manifesting together by a third of the earth’s population!

Yes, giving is required of every Christian. The only force that compels us is the love of our God, who loves us so much and whom we are to love in return. Are lovers fools? Yes, in the eyes of those who have never encountered this love we are fools. We are fools for Christ’s sake. (1 Corinthians 4:10)

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
1 John 3:16 This is how we know what real love is: Jesus gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for each other as brothers and sisters.

Matthew 5:42-44 (Jesus says,)
Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,…”

Isaiah 11:2 English Standard Version (ESV)
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

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