The Bank of Love

Corinthians 9:6-8

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.

 

 

As members of society, we are responsible for contributing to the needs of our communities. We pay taxes. We obey the law. We don’t litter. 

But Jesus didn’t ask for our bare minimum, as required by the government. He asked us to give. Not out of necessity, but cheerfully, as an expression of love. He asked us to give wholeheartedly in the spirit of charity, service and fellowship.

Yet, despite our best intentions, it’s easy to talk ourselves out of giving. We want to be generous, and when the right time comes, we will prove it. But the fear of giving away what we may need in the future can be stagnating. We may think:

I will give once I have enough money to part with or time to spare. But I can’t give right now. Not in this personal/professional/political/economic climate. There’s too much at stake. For now, I’ll hold onto my resources.

We wait for the perfect opportunity to put our love into action. The problem is willingness to give does not feed the hungry. Intending to save doesn’t put money in the bank. Love is a currency and it’s up to us to give it away.

You’re probably familiar with the laws of Economics, but you may need a refresher on laws of Love. Like any currency, Love is something of value exchanged between people. Its limitless supply and universal demand keep its relative value constant. You can’t steal it; it must be given or received. The more Love you give away, the more Love you have. Whatever you can give is enough to enjoy a healthy return. The bank of Love boasts the wealthiest people in the world. They are the most generous in Love. Because Love is infinite, you can never go bankrupt.

In this season of Lent, how can we give away our currency of Love?

PAY it forward.

Last week we reflected on the power of Gratitude. When you appreciate what you have, your blessings abound. Do you have wisdom, strength, support? Pass them on.

DONATE Money.

There is no minimum ante for giving. If it makes a difference to you, it will make a difference to someone else. Give what you can. 

SPEND Time.

With so many demands and diversions in today’s world, our time can feel as precious as our money. Give it away. Help your elders move the furniture and then stay for coffee. Volunteer with a group whose work you support. Take your child for a walk in the woods. Sit in silence.

DONATE Talents and Resources.

You may already have exactly what someone else needs. Cook a meal for new parents. Donate your craft or service to a fundraiser. Use your professional skills to provide pro-bono work. Let your friend keep the shoes she borrowed.

PAY Attention.

Compliment a stranger. Hold the door for the person behind you. Let a car in front of you in traffic. Paying attention can be the most intimate way to give. What if you focused on really listening when your loved one speaks? Without trying to multitask. Without checking your phone or glancing at the TV. What if you just made eye contact and listened? 

When we give wholeheartedly, we open ourselves to receiving Love. Giving sets into motion a self-perpetuating cycle: the more we give, the more we receive.