God Giving Through Us

It will not help much if we simply remind ourselves:  God gives to the ungrateful, and so should we.  But it will help if we remember that it’s God who gives when we give.  For then we need to deflect gratitude that comes to us anyway.  We are not its proper addressees.  God is.  And if we are convinced that gratitude doesn’t properly belong to us, then ingratitude doesn’t touch us.  We are not disrespected by ingratitude; our pride is not injured.  The ingratitude of recipients wrongs not us but the gift-giving God — the God whose goodness “gladly loses its good deed on the unthankful.”  And so we too continue to give, even to the ungrateful.

The self in whom Christ is active is modest.  It doesn’t give in order to aggrandize itself, prove its moral worth, or demonstrate its power.  It can forget itself in the act of giving and reach out to neighbors in love — it gives in order to delight in others and to help them in their needs.

— Miroslav Volf, Free of Charge, p. 115

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