21 Days of Prayer, day 10

You can give without loving but can you love without giving?

I can do the right things without the right motives. I’ve done it before. Even to people I love. I’ve given my kids something they wanted before with the sole motivation that they stop bothering me. This was a gift without love. If there was a star chart for godly behavior I didn’t earn a star for that one.

35C29C09-464B-445B-B3D8-F04265A014F11 Corinthians 13:3 says, “If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

We can give without love. Can we love without giving? I don’t see how. Love is more than giving but not less. At Harvest, we have a saying:

Generosity is our path to showing visible love.

Our society values reciprocity and fairness. If you give me a compliment I feel like I should pay you back in kind. If you pay for my coffee I remember to pay for yours the next time. We value reciprocity. In contrast, think about God’s love. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). This is not reciprocity.

God made his love visible when he gave himself for our gain.

Here’s an interesting final thought: Look at the end of 1 Corinthians 13:3 again. The challenge about acts of generosity without love is that when I do it “I gain nothing.” I think the opposite is true. When I give in love, I don’t just give but I gain something in return. Something better than a gold star.

  • How has God’s love compelled you to give?
  • How do your expenses reflect what you love?
  • Ask God, “what can I give away that would benefit God’s kingdom today?”