We give because we can. I can tell you this statement does not perfectly fit with my perception of Christian duty. I think many of you would agree that we give because we’re called in the Bible to give and it looks good in front of others. Maybe that’s just me, but I think the reason why we give most times is because of some form of obligation. This view places too much emphasis on the individual. The fact is, giving is about the collective, it’s an outpouring of the abundance we’ve received that must flow to others as we can’t contain it all.

Jesus came to serve. In this spirit, giving allows us to imitate Jesus. It allows us to step outside our selfish desires and show others they matter more to us than satisfying only ourselves. In a world that celebrates the individual, this message is hard to miss.

We give to those in need. I know this sounds redundant, but I don’t know if we think about this as much as we should. Giving to those who have much benefits them little. Giving to those with little benefits them greatly. However, you have to ask yourself what truly constitutes poverty and it isn’t just possessions.

We have been forgiven so we may be forgiven. I know that sounds confusing, but the forgiveness we receive from God is eternal. Therefore, as a Christian, we have received forgiveness for past, present and future transgressions. There is nothing to weigh us down. Likewise, we should forgive others so we don’t become a weight upon them.

Giving takes work. As today’s Memorial Day, look around at all those who have fallen and those still in service. They are giving to you on a daily basis. Jesus, the disciples, apostles, etc. all show that there is pain in the offering (not always), but the reward infinitely outweighs the discomfort. Whatever we may endure, it pales to the reward that is paid out over an eternity.

Reflect God’s glory Through receiving, we are whitewashed so that in giving we can reflect God’s glory. We evidence bits of God’s dominion over creation and His heart of love. In giving, we begin to look more like the Light we reflect and literally step outside ourselves as the Spirit is able to fully work in us.

If we are honestly following Jesus, then the love in our hearts will cause us to give without much thought to the contrary. We have been given so much that our heart cannot contain it all, therefore we have no option but to freely give some away. In this, we can imitate Jesus to people who are truly in need. We show that we are forgiven and, though it doesn’t always come easy, because of this we are free to forgive in the same way that God forgives. We mirror the character and the glory of God in our giving. Maybe today, while you’re grilling out with friends, family, you should ask yourself if you’re really giving of yourself out of freedom or out of bondage. We don’t give becase we have to; we give because we can.