“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
I love this verse because it’s promotes generosity. It displays Christ’s purest desire to give rather than to receive. It highlights the needs of the weak and the poor yes, but you can also take on this attitude in many aspects of life. Other versions say, “It’s better to give than to receive.” To the truly selfish person that may sound perplexing. Surely receiving is more enjoyable! I’ve managed to learn over the years, however, the joy that is attached to giving. One of my love languages is Gifts. Which means I express love through giving gifts, and I also interpret or receive love through gifts. When I was younger I think I much preferred getting a gift. Now that I’m older and more experienced, the joy for giving gifts has far surpassed the happiness of receiving one. The look on a person’s face when they behold what I have spent time and money on to give to them is truly a delight to me.
“It is more blessed to give – It is a higher privilege; it tends more to the happiness of the individual and of the world. The giver is more blessed or happy than the receiver.” (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)
It is a higher privilege indeed to be in the position to give. Think about that for a moment. Think of how impacted you were when someone reached out to meet your need. What a blessing to be in the seat of the giver at a later turn in life. This verse isn’t talking about physical gifts alone, but also about meeting the needs of the disenfranchised. Maybe you were the person in need for a long time and now you are stabilized. The best way to honor those who helped you is to help others. People need food, shelter, community, a friend, a prayer partner, and the list goes on and on. Sometimes in the “name it and claim it” circles of ministry believers are consumed with trying to get their needs, wants and desires met, and they neglect the needs of the weak. I’m all for a strong prayer life, and humbly asking God to grant you what you need, all I’m saying is that the bigger blessing is in giving. Don’t believe me? Well, Jesus said so.
Let’s hit the pause button on some of our typical requests and instead maybe ask the Lord to show us ways that we can grant requests. Let’s ask God to point us in the direction of opportunities where we can be the better for giving to those in need. It’s the higher privilege that will leave you more blessed and happy than those you choose to look out for.