Beneficence is giving abundantly. And God promises us that we’ll be twice blessed when we give. There’s that material blessing that finds its way back to the giver. But more importantly, there’s the blessing of becoming like God in character. Read on to dive deeper.
Grateful for relief
In recent days, I have continuously relieved myself of unnecessary burdens. I am grateful for the strength that God has provided me to make that decision. I’m also grateful for the power of saying “no” when that is what I believe is most beneficial.
I’ve also learned that in life, you’ll encounter decision points where you got so many good choices. None of these good choices will be sinful, not one will represent anti-love. It’s like picking what color to wear on a normal day. And no color is inherently bad.
I’m seeing many such decision points, especially in the realm of career choices. There are a thousand ways to make a trade and be able to do ministry at the same time.
Wait. Before you get lost, I’m doing this gratitude thing before discussing beneficence below.
So, let me continue.
Again, in recent days, I have chosen to be brave about keeping what feels more natural to my abilities, plus what makes living more meaningful. That is to say that I will continue to write more here while embracing no cumbersome effort at making money for my needs.
I’m choosing freelance work opportunities that are already aligned with what I love doing, so they’re not taking so much of my energy. I’ll be able to provide for my needs and get into that position of helping others better in the near future.
Things may change later, perhaps. I may pursue another step at formal education on something I’m really interested in. But, I won’t go that route if my pursuit is still about the scholarship money, not the learning itself. If I go on a formal study again, I will do so with vigor and interest, and that would only happen if I’m pursuing something I believe in and I’m so stoked about.
For now, I’m grateful to have nailed a few things here and there, and I’m on my quest to be on a financial journey that will be a blessing to others as well.
And that brings us to our rubric for today.
Being a channel of blessing makes you doubly blessed
This is supposedly a May 26 (Thu) post, but I had to go somewhere so I didn’t have the time to write.
The point of this portion of the book is that whenever we’re giving to others, we’re also blessed back. It’s the natural flow of how God has designed things to operate. After all, God is love, and God created the universe in love.
When we give out of love and not with the selfish aim to just boost our ego or get people to praise us, God is faithful to let the stream of beneficence circle back to us.
The work of beneficence is twice blessed.Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 81
Not only will we receive financial blessings when we go out of our way to extend help to others, but something will also happen inside of our hearts. That something is even higher in value than a mere material blessing.
That is, we’re actually becoming more and more like Jesus.
Remember, God is love, and love gives. By giving to others, we’re allowing ourselves to experience a series of acts that will continue to shape our character. That character is becoming more and more other-centered and self-giving. That is part of the transformative process of becoming creatures that love as God loves.
At the end of the day, God’s goal is our restoration and healing. We have been designed to be creatures of love, but the Fall ruined the original plan. Of course, God, like a master chess player, will do everything He can to make use of what’s in the situation, and then turn every circumstance into a real blessing.
God is generous and is the God of beneficence
If there’s one thing that we found about God’s Person today, it’s the fact that He is truly generous. He’s the kind of God who always wants to give abundantly.
Love always gives. Its direction is outward. It is not self-seeking. Instead, it is self-giving. God is like that because God is love. So definitely, He’s the One Being who’s our model when it comes to giving. And that includes giving financially.
Help me live a life of beneficence and abundance
It’s my prayer.
If you’ve been around financial circles and money talks online, you would have noticed how gurus speak of abundance.
The one point we can agree on with them is that we can already embrace that abundance mindset in the here and now—even now when we feel we don’t have enough or we’re far from getting there yet.
One key to getting into that mindset of abundance is to embrace gratitude.
While many of these gurus either don’t believe in God completely or embrace a picture of God that’s “impersonal,” calling the ultimate power the “Universe” instead of acknowledging Him as a Personal God, they have nailed parts of the principle of giving.
And that is, when you give, you’re actually living abundantly.
The act of giving does something almost magical, or let’s just say, transformational, to your brain. Giving tells your mind that you have more. Hoarding, on the other hand, tells you you’re in a needy position. And hoarding is part of the scarcity mindset.
But then again, the real danger of focusing on the material blessing is that it gets us in the opposite direction. We’re going to become creatures of selfishness, i.e., anti-love, in that case. And anti-love is self-destructive.
It would be in our best interest to focus on love, i.e., a love that gives.
In any case, Jesus has already declared every kind of good blessing to anyone who gives out of love.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.Luke 6:38, NIV
My prayer is for God to make my heart and yours right. That is, that we may give because we love, and not because we want to get something back.
Bless, as you have been blessed
Our practice, to make all of this doable, is to give in proportion to the blessings we have received from God. This has always been the principle behind tithing and second tithing in ancient Israel.
By the way, another closer-to-Christian-language abundance book is The Go-Giver by Bob Burg.
I’ve listened to its audiobook version, and it’s really fantastic at communicating the principles of giving. The book is in a storytelling format, so you’ll never get bored following one man’s journey to becoming a go-giver.
The generous soul will be made rich
God has given a clear promise in Proverbs.
The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.Proverbs 11:25, NKJV
Also, the text from our reading is pretty clear:
No one can give place in his own heart and life for the stream of God’s blessing to flow to others, without receiving in himself a rich reward.Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p 81
Finally, everything also resonates with one of the principles in The Go-Giver. It’s the law of reciprocity.
If we give first, people can’t help themselves but want to give back. And they will give back. Eventually.
Amazing, isn’t it?
Everything about this also reminds me of the line in a song…
Love is something if you give it away, it will come right back to you.Malvina Reynolds, adapted
Shall we go on practicing this love-giving?
Yeah, definitely, and all by God’s grace.