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The right manner of giving

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Sir: Giving is a virtue, which, like other virtues judiciously and joyfully applied, attracts unquantifiable blessings to the giver. There are several forms of giving. They include financial and material gifts, pieces of advice, encouragement, respect and the confidence you have in someone. In view of this, it is unequivocal that everybody can give whether rich or not, healthy or not, master or servant, old or young. To receive the blessings inherent in giving, one must be acquainted with the right manner of giving. Giving must be voluntary, joyful and geared towards helping the receiver.

Giving money, foodstuff, clothes and other material things to someone who needs them, giving pieces of useful advice to someone who needs them with a view to changing him or her, encouraging someone who experiences excruciating phenomenon in life to help him or her move on, giving respect to someone who deserves it, giving jobs to the unemployed, giving heart-felt thanks to someone who has helped you in any way and giving trust to someone who deserves it constitute the right manner of giving, which attracts spiritual and lasting blessings. Suffice it to say that the afore-mentioned practices can only attract blessings if they go without publicity. To this end, the Lord Jesus Christ warned us in Matthew 6:1-4 ‘Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them, otherwise you have no reward of your father, which is in heaven. Therefore, when thou doest thine alms do not sound a trumpet before thee as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets that they may have glory of men. Very I say to you, they have their reward. But when thou doest alms let not thy left hand know what thy right-hand doeth. That thy alms may be in secret and thy father, which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.’

What is done today in the name of giving is rather a travesty of the right manner of giving. It is done under duress or threat. It is also goaded on by what the giver will get from the receiver. Let us see how it manifests. There is a group of people who give virtually everything they have only to the church because they are indoctrinated with the belief that it is God who receives it. Another group of people also give to the church only because their church leaders threaten them with God’s wrath if they fail to do so. According to their leaders, they or their family members will be afflicted with sicknesses or they won’t prosper should they fail to give. To these group of people giving to the church only is what counts. Their family members, friends, colleagues and others who need their help can go to hell. The application of moral rectitude in their daily lives can also go to hell. The third group of people give only to those who will give them something in return. The politicians and other opportunists populate this category. There is yet another group of people who don’t give at all. They only receive and the thanks they utter is fake and mischievous.

Nobody can be exempted from giving, but the bottomline is that we should give wisely, willingly and joyfully. Moreover, the desire to help the receiver should be uppermost in our minds so that, the blessings will manifest.

• Ijeoma, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Sapele, Delta State.


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