Since the start of the year, I made it a point to write postcards to a group of friends regularly. I would hand-draw every postcard and write a little encouragement and Bible verse on each of them. After personalising the cards, I would make a trip down to the post office and send them off, hoping that the words written would bless and brighten their day.
We were all from the same secondary school, but had moved on to different tertiary schools after graduation, which made it was hard to meet up. Even though I could no longer ask about their day or talk about our lives often, the next most personal way to continue our friendship was to encourage them in writing.
I enjoy sending these cards, but sometimes I wonder if it’s worth the effort. After much thought and prayer, I have come to this realisation: that I should be a faithful encourager even if my efforts do not pay off in tangible ways. Here are the reasons for my giving.
4 REASONS FOR LOVING WITH INTENTION
1. We give because He first gave
Most of you are familiar with John 3:16, I’m sure. It says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
It was because of God’s great love for mankind that He sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins. And this was totally unconditional, no strings attached! If God could give us his only beloved son, we as the children of God should be able to give as He gave, with a grateful and joyful heart.
2. We give as an act of stewardship
We should strive to be good stewards of the gifts and finances God has given us. In 1 Peter 4:10, it says that we should use whatever gifts we have received to serve and bless others.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10)
We are called to be faithful stewards of God’s grace in various ways. Having been blessed by God with gifts of time, skills, money and more, we should use what we have to share the love of Christ with others.
3. We give as a way of loving Jesus
In Matthew 25:35-40, Jesus talks about giving to the poor and needy. In verse 40, Jesus says: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Jesus commanded us to love our neighbours as ourselves – this is the second greatest commandment (Matthew 22:38). If we love God, we should obey his commands. As such, caring and giving to others is a way of loving Jesus. In all that you do and give, do it unto Jesus and for His glory (Colossians 3:23).
4. We give to reflect God’s love to others
Giving is a way of sharing God’s love with others. Not everyone first encounters the Gospel by reading a Bible. Hence we should embody the Gospel and give like how Jesus gave. When we give, we bring God’s love to others. We want them to be able to experience the goodness of God too. And by this, others would see the Light in us and want to know who the Light is.
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (John 8:12)
I met up with one friend whom I wrote cards to recently, and she told me how she was touched and cheered up whenever she received a card. She isn’t a Christian, but she said that the Bible verses I wrote for her were timely and applicable to her situation every time.
I was really grateful to hear how God was working in her and allowing her to receive His word by means of my cards. The Bible verses were also a great way to explore the faith together.
There are so many ways to give to others – it doesn’t have to be writing cards. I would encourage you to give whatever you are good at, whether it is spending time with someone, lending a friend a listening ear, cooking a meal for someone or even giving a troubled friend a hug.
Giving isn’t limited to physical gifts. Giving of yourself, being a good friend to someone by showing them Christ’s love is the best gift.