Better To Give Than Receive

6 Oct

I have heard it so many times, it has become almost cliche.

It is better to give than to receive.

Where did this come from? I usually hear that when everyone else gets gifts and I don’t!

That phrase is actually attributed to Jesus by Paul in Acts 20:35. (Side note: One of the unique facts about this saying, is that it is one of the few quotes attributed to Jesus that doesn’t appear in the Gospels. The closest verse that I found where Jesus said something like this is in Matthew 10:8 where Jesus says, “Give as freely as you have received!”) Paul used this “Jesus theme” in reference to helping the weak and the poor. Here’s the same verse, found in the DIPShtick translation:

Paul said – “I never wanted anything from anyone else. You know that I supported myself and my followers by working hard. I supported myself to show you that those of us that can work hard should, and support those who can’t. Because, a person who is able to work hard, and give of himself, will gain blessing if they give freely. If you were laid up, and could not work, wouldn’t you be blessed if someone who could give, provided for you?”

Paul knew that in giving without expectation of a return, we take on the qualities of Jesus. Jesus taught personal, sometimes sacrificial service to others. In his life and his death, Jesus showed us how to give without expecting anything in return. That is the attitude we should take on. We should give personally and sacrificially to others without expecting anything in return.

With that, I’ll end this like Paul ended his talk in Ephesus. I’ll take my leave.

Goodbye is not an easy word to say.
Parting is such sweet sorrow.
I will always remember you.

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