Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”Matthew 19:21
Amy Carmichael is somewhat of a household name in Christian circles. If you don’t know her, you should take some time to learn more about her life. She was an Irish girl who was born in the 1800s. She was always weak and frail and prone to long bouts of illness, but her burning desire was to love God through loving His people in far away lands. After much struggle and rejection, Amy finally found a mission agency that was willing to send her to India. Once there she was very, very ill, but she pushed through the suffering and dedicated her life to rescuing girls from Hindu temples. She opened the Dohnavu mission and orphanage and took in children the rest of her life.
Something Amy said is worth repeating, she said, “You can always give without loving, but you can never love without giving.” Giving doesn’t require much more than a desire to make a difference or to feel better about oneself. But when we love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength we find ourselves loving his creation. When this happen our giving is born out of love. Amy is right, when you love, truly love another, you cannot not give to them. That means more than caring for the weak and helpless, it also includes loving those in your family. It means that if you love them you will give them the best part of you, the bigger piece of cake, the benefit of the doubt, and an attitude of honor. You cannot love without giving up yourself. Selflessness is a good synonym for love. In fact, without selflessness you are not truly loving.
Questions to ponder
Who is the most loving person you know personally and what makes them loving?
Think of the people you love: how many times do you put them before yourself? Think about times when you have put your wants, needs, and desires above theirs and how loving oftentimes includes giving.
If selflessness is a good synonym for love, consider that when you are giving you’re less likely to be selfish and more likely to be loving. What can you give this week to love the church, your family, and your neighbor?