When People Struggle to Give Back

Dr. Alvin Ang Tuesday, May 6, 2014 // Worship // Comments

One of the greatest challenges people face in receiving God’s blessings is how to handle them. It is easy to come to the Lord to pray for blessings (material, emotional, physical and intellectual), but once the blessings come (or keeps on coming) – people have the strong tendency to hold back later on.

When people hold back, we defeat the purpose of the blessing. Genesis 12:2 says, that “the purpose of being blessed is to bless others”.

Why is giving a difficult challenge?

I propose that there are two emotional factors that significantly affect our giving back decisions – greed and fear.

Both almost always result to negative outcomes if we are not able to contain or manage them. They usually deal with the future of which we do not have any capacity to know exactly the outcome.

Greed and fear can become debilitating and crippling as they often times, paralyze our thinking as well limit the choices we make. And usually, greed and fear lead to depression or any psychological disorder. The world treats them as sicknesses and that there are so-called medical cures for them.

However, we do not disagree with this view because we believe that the solution goes beyond just medication. We believe that fear and greed can be overcome rather than treated.

The Bible talks about fear (including greed) a lot and has outlined simple truths on how we can overcome them.

The antidote for fear is hope – the positive expectation of good. While the antidote for greed is contentment – a positive understanding of needs and wants.

alvin ang

Both, however, do not come by as tablets of cure individually. Hope and contentment are outcomes of a more basic understanding of our relationship with God. God, our Creator, wants us to know that He cares and wants to be our friend, partner and navigator in life.

He offers us a friendship that assures us of a definite future.

The passage in John 3:16 summarizes this truth. And this truth sets us free not only from fear and greed, but even from all the negativities and lies of life that prevent us from giving.

The devil will always try to prevent us from believing that God cares and that God provides. But accepting His offer of friendship and mentorship is the starting point.

No amount of knowledge and effort will take away fear and greed – it is humanly impossible. The verse in 2 Timothy 1:7 says:

“that God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love and sound mind.”

To overcome fear and greed is to agree with God. Once we do, He will replace these negative emotions with love (expanding our view and care for others), with power (facilitate living and meet ours and others needs physically and financially) and sound mind (life of peace and clear thinking – allowing for decisions that affect the eternity of others).

Only in God can we have real hope and contentment in life.

If you are going through the challenges of giving back, I pray that you will openly accept God’s offer of friendship and help you live a life of generosity.