Just as Jesus did.
Nick Spencer, “Human as Gift, Comment, Vol. 40, No. 1, Winter, 2022.
Spencer expands on the implications of what it means that our lives as humans are a gift from God.
To exist is a gift. To be saved is a gift. To know the daily sustenance and blessings of God is a gift. Since, in effect, giving defines who we are, giving should be what we do. Giving should be the defining principle of our lives, especially we who, as Christians, understand that our lives are a gift from God.
He, out of His unfathomable and eternal love, gives us life so that we might give of ourselves to others. “To give is to love and to love is to give.” Spencer explains, “Our commission is to live in such a way as to exercise our talents for creativity and productivity so that we may contribute fully toward our common life. We are made not to have but to give.”
Only God can make us generous, so we need to lead people to tap into His power for making all things new. We cannot look to politics or government to make us a more giving people. We need grace. Spencer concludes,”True gift is not a calculation but an act of grace, and the state is singularly ill-placed to elicit grace. Rather, there is a personal power that rules and prompts the heart, at work here. It is found in the encounter with the other, particularly the vulnerable other, the other that is prostrate, that is weak, that has given itself.”
Preachers and teachers need to remember these points, as they urge their hearers to next steps of self-giving in all their teaching.