Have you ever heard an evangelist or preacher in asking for an offering tell you that, if you sow into their ministry, it will come back to you tenfold or even one hundredfold? Or have you been told that by doing some nice thing for others you will in turn be blessed in some way? People use these tactics to compel you to give your money, time or talents, and there is an element of truth in it. However, in giving in this way, your motive becomes what you will get back in return not the genuine desire to give or bless. You can give and receive, but motive is the key. And that motive must be love. This is clearly stated in I Corinthians chapter 13. Without love as your motive for everything you do, you will not benefit. To say it another way, if the thought of whether or not you will somehow benefit from your giving is determining whether you give or not, then your motive is not love, it’s self. We live in a “what’s in it for me” culture. And that can be ugly. Do we have to get something in return? Do you need recognition for what you’ve done? Has your giving gone down because you can no longer claim it as a tax deduction? These motives are pure selfishness. Your giving is between you and God and no one else. If God tells you to give, you should give. If you desire to be a blessing then do it whether anyone knows or not. Yes, God really does bless people for giving – but not if that is their motive for doing it. Love must be your motivation.
1 Corinthians 13:3 (NLT)
3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.