Each week in America, untold millions of people play the lottery for one reason – they play to win. They want to receive millions of dollars. They pay to play, even though there are infinitesimal odds they will not win.
Keep this picture in your mind as we read the Apostle Paul’s farewell address to the elders at the church at Ephesus. Paul shared with them that in his three year ministry with them, he was there to share and give of himself and not take from them.
Then he gives us, what some have called the recovered beatitude when Paul quotes our Lord “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” This sounds like our Lord. When the masses around us are grabbing, lurching, and snatching to get their hands on money for self consumption and security, our Lord says, “Give it away.”
What is the meaning of what most people would honestly called a distorted beatitude? Think about it:
- First, you are blessed if you have something to give. The giver of all good an perfect gifts has shared with you His resources. The Psalmist says, “The earth is the Lords and everything in it.” (Psalms 24:1) God entrusts us with his things.
- Secondly, when you are truly free to share and give away some of your resources, it is at this point you become the owner. They do not own you. According to an English proverb, “Money makes a good servant but a poor master.”
- Thirdly, the act and art of giving is one of the purest reflections of Christ we will ever express. Jesus himself said, “God so loved, he gave…” (John 3:16).
This beatitude gives us a noble principle that will guide our steps to the high road of life’s journey. The more you serve God, the less you serve money. (Matthew 6:24). According to Dr. W. O. Carver in The Acts of the Apostles, Jesus said, “It is blessed rather to be the giver than to be the getter.” (page 207).
- Dale Clemens