Our Way of Living

If we believe that God has given us everything, then giving will be our way of living.  We’ll still work to earn, because the gift of work is the primary means by which God gives what we have.  But earning and possessing will become folded into giving.  God gives us life, powers, abilities, and so we earn and possess.  We’ll earn and possess so we can give, as when we share our food with the hungry; we’ll give even while earning, as when we create goods and offer services with dedication, care, and wisdom; and we’ll give even by possessing, as when we open our home for others to enjoy.  Earning and possessing are not just a bridge between our desires and their satisfaction.  They are a midpoint in the flow of gifts:  from God to us, and through us to others.  We give because we have been given to; we don’t let others simply fend for themselves because we haven’t been left to fend for ourselves.

— Miroslav Volf, Free of Charge:  Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace, p. 107-108

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