What we get . . . what we give
Winston Churchill reportedly said that “we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” According to Churchill then, our lives are defined less by what we have gotten, and more by what we give away.
Our Lord’s life is defined in this way. He gave completely of Himself for us. He became man for us. He taught the truth of God’s Word. He healed those with many and various diseases. He died the death that we deserve because of sin. He gave of Himself in order to save us from sin, death, and hell. And so, it is that by giving completely of Himself, He got for Himself us, making us citizens of His eternal kingdom by grace.
As it was for Jesus, so it is also for us. We get more from giving than we do from simply getting. For giving softens our hearts and frees us from the grip which the worries of this world and making a living has on us. For when we are singularly focused on making a living, we are singularly focused on what we get. That mindset begins to bleed into all areas of our lives—our relationships with friends and family, with neighbors and coworkers, and with the Lord. It shifts our focus from asking the question—How can I be a friend, family member, neighbor, and servant to others—to asking the question—what have they done for me lately. We become more selfish instead of selfless.
But when we give, we do not have less, we have more because when we give we join in the bond of friendship and family, the bond of service to those around us out of love for them. And love is the fulfillment of the Law. It is the nature of God Himself, for God is Love. Thus we are reflecting the divine nature. As Jesus said “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).