Most of us are familiar with the verse in John 13:34, where we are commanded to love one another. Loving our families and those close to us may be easy, but what does it truly mean or look like to demonstrate love, care, and concern for others?
Matthew 6:21 states, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” How we invest ourselves – whether it’s through our attention, time, talents, or financial gifts – is indicative of the state of our hearts. Where do you devote most of your attention or resources? For some, it may be the house, a car, a boat, vacations, or their children. Wherever it is that you’ve spent the most, chances are, that is where your heart is and is an indicator of what or whom you love.
Where we put our money can be seen as a physical manifestation of what’s in our hearts. Does that space only include certain people, or is it also open to those with whom we may seem at odds? While it’s easy to shower the ‘lovable’ people in our lives with gifts, how should we respond with generosity to those we don’t consider part of our inner circle? Because we are instructed to love as He loves us, we can look to Him for how we should love others:
First, we see God’s love for us through His sacrifice. The popular verse John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Second, we see how much He loves us by considering how undeserving we are. We are all imperfect and have done nothing to earn this grace.
Third, we see how much we are loved because of the freedom with which He loves us. We are not owed anything…no grace, pardon, or an eternal life. He did not have to grant us any of these, yet He did.
When it comes to our time, talents, and treasure, are we giving sacrificially? At times, giving may take a leap of faith and require trusting that you will be provided for after giving away your resources. Are we giving to those who are “undeserving” or are we only giving to those closest to us? Do we keep our giving close to home, or do we recognize that there are people all over the world who have needs that we don’t even know about? Are we giving freely? When we’re giving, are we doing it because we have to? Or are we giving generously because we freely want to further His kingdom?
When it comes to using our financial gifts to show love for others, remember that truly loving another person may require sacrifice and recognition that the recipient may or may not deserve or appreciate it. If we choose to love as God has loved us, we must recognize the grace that we ourselves have received and allow that generosity to flow freely through us.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” – John 13:34
At Ronald Blue Trust, we seek to provide clients with financial strategies based on biblical wisdom to help free up resources for a more generous life. For more information, please contact a Ronald Blue Trust advisor by calling 800.987.2987 or emailing [email protected].