Loving and giving

Loving and giving

 One night the older brother lay awake and thought “My brother lives alone, he has not the companionship of wife and children to cheer his heart as I have.  While he sleeps, I will carry some of my food grains into his field”.

At the same hour, the younger brother reasoned “My brother has a large family and his necessities are greater than mine.  As he sleeps I will put some of my food grains on his side of the field”.

Thus, the two brothers went out, each laden with food grain on their shoulders.  To each others’ surprise they meet at the dividing line.  There they embraced.  Years later, at the very place stood the Jerusalem temple, and on the very spot of their meeting stood the temple’s altar.

Love for one another is what Jesus constantly taught.  He said "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another”. (John 13:34).  Love means also sharing our resources with each other and caring for the material needs of others.

When there is genuine love towards others, our giving becomes spontaneous.  Saint Paul says “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

French-born Stephen Grellet who belonged to a religious society called ‘friends church’ died in New Jersey in 1855.  Grellet would be unknown to the world today except for a few lines that made him immortal.  The familiar lines, which have served as an inspiration to so many people are these: “I shall pass through this world but once.  Any good that I can do, or any kindness that I show any human being, let me do it now and not defer it.  For, I shall not pass this way again”. Evangelist John Wesley wrote “Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can”. We can give without loving, but we cannot love without giving, be it our time or possessions. Augustus Caesar gave an expensive gift to a person he wanted to honour.  The person was so overwhelmed he said “This is too great a gift for me to receive’.  Augustus replied “But it is not too great a gift for me to give”.

At heaven’s gates, it is said, the Lord will not ask us how much we have, but would ask how much we gave.  How much have you given?