A Giving Spirit

“If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 13:3

I’d like to briefly harken back to something I had previously written on Acts 5:1-11, which tells the harrowing story of Ananias and Sapphira, two characters in the early church. They sell a property in order to donate the funds to the church, but held back some funds even though they said they were giving it all. One by one, each lied in front of the church and was immediately struck down by God. God knew the intentions of their heart. They intended to seem like people who gave away all they had, but for an intention driven not by love for others (cf. 1 Cor 13:3).

In our final glimpse at the commonly overlooked portion of 1 Corinthians 13, I hope you remember that when giving to others (or, frankly, when interacting in any capacity with others) that none of it matters without that unconditionally sacrificial love for those individuals. Actions with misguided motives are signs of a lukewarm Christian, which Jesus will expel from His mouth (cf. Rev 3:15-16, 1 Jn 2:15-16, Matt 5:13, 12:30, Jas 3:10-12, 2 Cor 6:14-18).

Love others, love God. There is no commandment greater than this (cf. Matt 22:37-40, Deut 6:4-5, Lev 19:18, Mk 12:29-31, Lk 10:27-28).

“‘Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.’” – John 14:21

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