Researchers have found that people give to charity for various reasons: some give because it helps them — either directly or indirectly; some give because it makes them feel good or it alleviates guilt or repairs their self-image; and yes, some give because of their love for the Christ and their desire to support His work. The Bible teaches us to think of others as we think of ourselves. That way of thinking, admittedly, contradicts the postmodern way of thinking. Our society tends to focus on “me first.” To foster selflessness, the Apostle Paul, in Philippians 2, gives us some advice. He urges us to reflect on our spiritual wealth — wealth that is ours because of our link with Christ. Christ brought us into favor with God; we now enjoy the comfort of His love. We have the fellowship of His Spirit. These may defy physical touch but they are profoundly real. Paul says Jesus is our supreme example of giving. Even though He was God, for our sake, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave when he came into the world. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” He did all of this for us. Based on Christ’s example, Paul urges us to be concerned, not just for our own interests, but also for the interest of others.
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