Son: Dad, of all our neighbours, I noticed that Mr. Johnson is always happy and cheerful especially when he gives. But he’s getting old, if he keeps giving, won’t he become poor?
Dad: (Smiling): That’s a brilliant question Kevin. Take a walk with me let’s talk about giving.
Thrilled by the opportunity to be outdoors, Kevin jumped to his feet, held his father’s hand and pulled away. He couldn’t wait to learn more about giving.
Dad: Kevin, giving is an attitude not an amount. It is a mental health principle that cascades into every area of life and enables the giver to live a healthy and happy life.
Mr. Johnson is always happy especially when he gives because he understands that we steward the gifts we give. Those gifts neither own nor control us.
People who lack this understanding act as though the gifts own them and are, therefore, unhappy to give because they think that by giving, they have less. This is far from the truth.
Giving is a universal principle and an investment for eternity. 1 Timothy 6 reveals that when we give, we are storing up treasure for ourselves in heaven.
Kevin: (Wide eyed): We are?
Dad: (Smiling): Yes, we are son, God takes note. Do you remember what John 3 vs 16 says?
Kevin recites it excitedly.
Dad: Excellent son. John 3 vs 16 reveals that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. This goes to show that the nature of God is the nature of giving and since we were created in the image and likeness of God, giving is also our nature.
Kevin: Dad, you mean that whenever Mr. Johnson gives, he is acting like God?
That verse also demonstrates that the nature of love is the nature of giving. That’s why when we give to people, we afford them the opportunity to experience God’s love.
Kevin: So people now know the love of God because of Mr. Johnson.
Dad: (Smiling): Yes son.
Dad: Furthermore, John 3 vs 16 reveals the purpose of giving which is to meet needs. God gave his son because the world needed salvation and redemption from sins. It is worthy of note that that singular act transformed the world and changed the course of history forever. This goes to show that when we give to meet the needs of others, our giving makes tangible impact and a positive difference in the world.
Kevin: (Understanding the line of thought): That’s why Mr. Johnson is always happy and cheerful when he gives.
Dad: That’s right Kevin.
Dad: You see one characteristic of giving is that it places premium value on the receivers rather than discriminate against them.
God loved the world and gave his son not because the world loved him in return, not because the world would value or appreciate his gift, not even because the world was worthy of his gift. God gave his most priced gift in the person of his son to an undeserving world because He placed premium value on the world.
Kevin: (Looks at his father shocked): That must be the reason Mr. Johnson bought food items for the couple that live down the road even though they are quite troublesome.
Dad: (chuckles): Yes son, that’s why.
Kevin: But dad, I don’t see the people Mr. Johnson gives to giving back to him as much as he gives to them.
Dad: That’s true but it doesn’t change the fact that giving confers rewards on the giver. You see when God gave his only begotten son, he gained many sons and daughters who believe in him and, therefore, have everlasting life.
So Mr. Johnson receives rewards for his acts of kindness in ways we may not know of.
Besides, apart from receiving rewards, there are many benefits derivable from giving. Some of them include:
Giving promotes physical health by reducing stress, and fighting low self-esteem and depression. This is because giving naturally builds a person’s confidence thereby naturally repelling self-hatred. You’d agree with me that this can increase and enhance a person’s lifespan.
That’s not all. Giving promotes social connection and improves relationships because it makes us selfless. When God gave his only begotten son, he wasn’t focused on himself, he was focused on meeting the need of the world. This sacrifice restored the relationship between man and God.
It would interest you to know that when we embrace giving, we introduce people to the quality of life God designed for humanity and by implication, cause his kingdom to come as his will is done on earth. Note that giving isn’t limited to money or gifts. It can be giving time, care, your abilities, advice, assistance, etc.
I’ll close by saying this: Giving influences our lives directly and indirectly so, if we want to change our lives, we must change the way we give. This is because giving is a spiritual transaction that provokes spiritual and physical supplies.
Kevin: (Wide eyed): Dad, I want to be a happy and cheerful giver like Mr. Johnson. I’ll start by helping him offload the things in his car.
And off he went before his dad could say a word.
Mr. Steven just smiled to himself happy that Kevin had learnt vital lessons in giving and was excited to put them to practice.