How I Used Truth - Lesson 6 - Annotation 9
Of what is "giving" the natural outflow?
9. "Giving" is the natural outflow of love. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son" (John 3:16). God gave Himself as the reality back of all creation. In man this reality is the "only begotten Son" or the Christ Spirit indwelling.
Paul has referred to love as the "fulfillment of the law" (Rom. 13:10). In order that any law may be fulfilled, the principle back of it has to be expressed. The very nature of love requires its inclusion in the expression of any divine law in order for fulfillment to take place. For example, there are those who mistakenly believe that justice precludes love. There can, however, be no true justice until love has become a component part of the action of judgment.
A gift is never truly a gift if love is missing. Unless the outer form has been prompted by love, it is nothing more than a transaction. When the heart is filled with love -- love for God, love for man, love for all creation -- giving becomes a natural impulse. True giving is sharing God's substance, not giving merely to fill places of lack. In selfless giving, all thought of "mine and thine" has gone. Love knows God and thus recognizes oneness. Giving prompted by love is not limited to persons but reaches out to all creation.
"In his second letter Paul . . . suggests some principles of giving that are always applicable, for giving is a grace that adds to the spiritual growth of all men in all times. Without giving the soul shrivels, but when giving is practiced as a part of Christian living, the soul expands and becomes Godlike in the grace of liberality and generosity. . . . Therefore it is not surprising that Paul classes the grace of giving with faith, knowledge, and love" (Prosperity 133).
The mother with love-filled heart yearns to give to her children all that will bring them happiness. The father who loves his children works to provide all that he feels will add to their lives in the way of food, shelter, education, travel, and satisfying experiences. The truly dedicated minister, teacher, government official, and social worker seeks to give of the best he has toward the goals set before him. Dedication to a purpose or a cause stems from love within the heart. This love in turn seeks to give in service to others.
When the heart is full of love, then the hand is full of blessings, whether the hand appears to be full or not. Love reveals the hands to be the "hand of God" and therefore they cannot be limited in their giving. One writer has expressed the idea beautifully in this way:
Preceding Entry: What is the relation between the "word" and the "hand"?
Following Entry: What blessings come to us when we consciously serve as "the hand of God"?