Better to Give Than to Receive

St Paul said: “Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me.  I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”  (Acts 20:34-35)

St Isaac of Nineveh comments:

“The one who does good to the poor will find God a provider.  And the one who suffers want for love of Him will find in God a great treasure.

God does not have need of anything, but He rejoices when one serves or honors his image (in man) for his sake.

If anyone asks something of you and you have it, do not say in your heart, ‘I will leave it for myself because I will be better served by it,’ or ‘I will let him depart now, God will provide for him through another; this I lay aside for myself.’  Do not say this!  For this is how unjust men think, and people who do not know God reckon [thus] and dwell on these thoughts.  However, a righteous person does not give his honor to another nor does he let an opportunity for doing good pass by.  By all means God will pour forth on that one in another way whenever He knows that he is afflicted.  For God does not abandon anyone.  But in that moment you have let God’s honor depart from you and thrust his grace from you.

But rejoice when you have [something], and give, and say: ‘Glory to you, O God, who have granted me also to be able to comfort someone!'”  (ON ASCETICAL LIFE, pp 87-88)

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