In our lives, we experience two kinds of people with regards giving: the one who gives to live, and the one who lives to give. The one who gives to live vacillatesevery time he gives; he tries to know how much he will get back in return.His motivation is the reward he gets. On the other hand, the person who lives to give expects neither reward nor recognition and is in fact offended if compensated. This type of individual looks at a situation in terms of “what is needed?” He is the type of person who always asks, “How much more is needed?”
In the Gospel, God the Father “gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him may not die, but may have eternal life. God did not send His Son to condemn the world but that the world may be saved through Him” (Jn. 3: 13 – 17).
The attitude that the Lord wants us to develop is the one of caring for our neighbor and those in need. We should be looking at others more rather than ourselves. It’s about being in an attitude of abundance, knowing that God provides, and He “loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9: 7). Good times should be viewed as opportunities to be thankful and grow in love for God, while when times are hard and difficult it should help us grow in our faith and hope in God to provide us what we truly need. As St. Paul has said, “…I tell you brothers, the time is short …those who weep should live as though they were not weeping and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing… for the world as we know is passing away”(1 Cor. 7: 25-31).
Sharing allows us to focus on the other person, to be “other-ness”. It gives us the attitude of thinking less of ourselves, and more of others. The motivation for living to give is not about recognition. Some of the time there will be recognition for anyone who gives but yet this isn’t the main reason for giving.I have a couple – friend, whose wealth is vast and yet shies away from getting the recognition. I even have to tell that there are times they have to allow that in order to inspire others. When helping, they never turn their heads to see who is looking and never wait to find out what the reward will be. They do most of their sharing in a quiet and personal way.
Jesus himself showed the ultimate example of that attitude of sharing when He emptied himself and took our human form. “He humbled himself even unto death on the cross! Because of this, God highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name above every other name, so that at Jesus name, every knee must bend in the heavens and under the earth, and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father”(Phil. 2: 6-11).
In our lives, we’ll soon realize that we become happiest when we give. Especially when we sacrifice something of ourselves since it tells us that only in doing so that we’ve given enough. It means we’ve passed that point wherein we only think of ourselves — short of selfishness and greed. A smile, a pat on the back, a ray of hope, or a sigh of relief is enough reward. Then we begin to live and become persons for others. The inner joy and peace that we’ve long desired will become finally ours. Because sharing and giving will make us feel really good!
When you give, what is your motivation? Are you a person who gives to live? or, a person who lives to give?