I know that it is difficult sometimes to look past your own problems to recognize problems other people are experiencing. Several days ago, after leaving one of my frequent trips to the hospital, I decided to treat myself to a cup of my favorite coffee. When I got to the window to pay, the young clerk informed me that the customer who was ahead of me had paid for my coffee. I was truly blown away by this strangers kindness because I had never seen this person in my life before. Her kindness reminded me of a time that my dad handed me $2,500.00, instructing me to give it to a total stranger. I took that money and placed it in the mailbox of an elderly woman who I knew struggled to pay for decent food to eat. I never told her that I had put it in her mailbox.
Since I was 17, I have suffered from a terminal disease that frankly makes my life a living hell. My pain and suffering doesn’t allow me to enjoy much happiness. Yet, thinking back about the happiest days of my life, I remember how I felt placing the money in a poor elderly woman’s mail, my own charitable and anonymous gifts to others, and the day I was treated to a cup of coffee by total stranger.
Our Heavenly Father tells us that, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
Jesus preached that, “I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.
Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:36-46)
Sometimes people get confused by not giving by “compulsion” and that you were wrong “not” to give to others. What God is telling us is that when your heart is in the right place, giving to others will not come from a compulsion to give, but from the happiness you will experience from giving anonymously to others, expecting nothing in return.
I’m Pastor Bill with Jesus Survives Ministries (jesussurvives.com). I ask that you do not give to my ministry or myself. Our Heavenly Father richly blesses my ministry and me. It is my desire that all my brothers and sisters will find eternal life in our Fathers kingdom. I write to encourage you all to first understand your Heavenly Fathers commands and that you will find the happiness that comes from from obeying his commands. That said, when was the last time you tended to the least of your brothers or sisters?