Whenever I’ve got a pay rise or landed a job that pays more than the last one, my mind quickly goes to the different ways I could upgrade my life.
With this extra cash I could afford a better phone, buy more expensive clothes, go on a more exotic holiday, rent a larger house or drive a better car. But although working hard has its own rewards, there is an even better way to use this extra resource we’ve been given:
“I have shown you that by working hard we must help the weak. Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive” – Acts 20:35 (ESV/ NLT)
Although our capacity to work hard and earn a living is a gift God has given to provide for ourselves and our family, it’s also important to recognise that the ultimate purpose behind the provision is that we would be a source of strength to the weak.
Although there is a certain level of benefit that comes from using our resource to upgrade our own lives, there is an even greater reward for those who use it to upgrade the lives of others.
A wise Mother once told her son (who happened to be a king) not to use all of his strength on things that would upgrade his own life, but that would also strengthen the lives of others:
‘Do not waste your strength on [futile distractions. Instead, use it to] … speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves [and] ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice” – Proverbs 31:3; 8-9 (NLT)
Any level of financial strength, positional authority, influence or popularity we enjoy has been given by God in order to strengthen the lives of others; and especially those who are weaker than we. Those who practice this principle will discover the truth of Jesus’ words; that it is truly “better to give than to receive”.