2 Corinthians 1:12
“Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity.” (NIV)
There’s a story about a gardener who grew an incredible carrot. It was so good that he presented it to the King as a gift.
“Your Excellency,” he said, “This is the best carrot I’ve ever grown. I therefore give it to you as a sign of my love and respect.”
The King could see the sincerity in the man’s heart. So he gave him a plot of land and said he could garden there as much as he wanted.
Another man in the King’s court overheard the conversation. He thought to himself, ‘Wow, if the King did that for a lousy carrot, imagine what he would give for something better!”
So he brought in a beautiful horse. “Your Excellency, I breed horses, and this is the best one I’ve ever seen. I give it to you because of my love and respect.”
Again, the King could see the man’s heart. But this time, instead of seeing sincerity, he saw greed. “Thank you,” he said. Period.
Seeing the man’s confusion, the King explained: “The gardener was giving ME the carrot, but you were giving YOURSELF the horse.”
Just as the King could see the motives of the men’s hearts, God can see the motives of yours.
You’re good people. I sense that. There’s an aura about you. And if I were a betting man, I’d say most of you are giving in some way or another.
So today, when you give of your time or talent or treasure, ask yourself, are you really giving to give something? Or are you giving to get something?
For example, when some people say they’re lending a hand, they’re often just buying the promise of a favour. And when others boast about giving to charity, they’re really just buying a bigger reputation.
Motives matter. So be motivated by the goodness of God that you just can’t help but share.
Because God gives himself to us, we give ourselves to others.
By Matthew Ruttan
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