Give to Get?
When it comes to the matter of giving and the heart, people like to talk about motives.
Perhaps the most popular one is the principle of sowing and reaping. People have strong opinions about it. For some, sowing and reaping is a primary motive for giving. Others consider it an inferior motive, the bottom rung on the ladder of spiritual maturity.
“Papa,” my dad, loves his eight grandchildren, and Papa knows his grandchildren love sweets. When he comes out with a package of cookies or a box of popsicles, the little ones start heading in his direction. They crawl to his ankles, up into his lap, and say, "Papa, Papa.”
He knows he is appealing to their desires, but he’s okay with that. He understands the mind of a child. In fact, if you ask the younger ones why they like going to Papa’s house, they might say, “He gives us treats.” This is Papa’s system. He likes the attention, and the kids like the sweets.
In the process, the rewarding techniques draw the grandchildren closer to Papa – into his arms, his love, and his presence. With time, the attraction to Papa matures beyond the desire for treats.
The children begin to learn his voice, his laugh, his love, his character, and the comfort and security they find in his presence. Their love for Papa becomes more pure.
You can see it in their eyes and when they embrace his neck. You can hear it in their voice when they say, “I love you, Papa.”
We are God’s children, and we should take pleasure in God’s rewarding ways, not reject or debate them. If one of the grandchildren would reject Papa’s reward, it would dampen his spirit.
God wants to reward His children for behavior that pleases Him – behavior that leads towards a connection to God with greater peace, joy, security, trust, dependence, gratitude, worship, and love.
How about you? Does this give you a new perspective?