Overseer of God’s Remnant Assembly Akintayo Emmanuel Looks at How to Unlock the Power of Giving
Virtually all people believe that it is better to give than to receive. However, putting this truth in practice is another story altogether. Many individuals who earnestly attempted to put others first have experienced another, and far more cynical and disparaging maxim: no good deed goes unpunished. But is this really the case? According to Akintayo Emmanuel, the Overseer of God’s Remnant Assembly the answer is a categorical and definitive no.
“The problem that so many of us face when it comes to giving, is that if we’re completely, utterly and ruthlessly honest with ourselves, we discover that deep inside we aren’t actually giving with a loving and open heart a lot of the time,” comments Akintayo Emmanuel, who also serves as the CEO of Global Leadership and Intercultural Studies Initiatives. “This is contrary to what is directed in 2 Corinthians 9:7, which proclaims that “each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Indeed, outwardly we can seem to be extremely generous, but if in our hearts we are reluctant or resentful, then we are not really giving — and hence, we should not be surprised at all when we do not receive any blessing or reward for our gesture. Why should we? We have not fulfilled our end of the deal.”
In addition to having an open, loving heart while giving — whether the offering is relatively minor or profound and life-changing — here are two other essential considerations that, according to Akintayo Emmanuel, unlock the power of giving and bless both the giver and the recipient in ways they can imagine; and indeed, in more ways that they cannot: humility and abundance.
· Giving with Humility
Those who give ostentatiously so they will be applauded may fool others and themselves but will never and can never delude God. As Matthew 6:1–4 proclaims: “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
So, when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
According to Akintayo Emmanuel: “This does not mean we should be rude or ungracious when we receive authentic words of praise and encouragement from our loved ones and peers. However, we must be clear not to seek or covet these acknowledgements or resent when they are not forthcoming. All giving is to God, by God, and for God.”
· Giving with Abundance
Some people believe that giving with abundance means offering something plentiful or high value; but this is not necessarily the case. As Luke 21:1–4 proclaims: “Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, `Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’”
Akintayo Emmanuel states that: “God does not want us to give to others to the extent that we cannot support our families or fulfill our earthly responsibilities and obligations. However, we should always remember that the amount we give is not the primary consideration. What matters most is whether giving represents an authentic sacrifice on the part of the giver, or is merely a token gesture, even though it may be perceived by others as substantial and significant.”
The Bottom Line
Like other virtues, the ability to give with an open heart, with humility, and with abundance is something that most of us need to cultivate through practice. However, once we achieve this alignment then we no longer pine or linger for rewards — because they are self-evident and truly transformative.
When people experience the true essence of giving as it is clearly laid out for us in the Bible, they don’t just change themselves, but they in effect change the world. They are blessed, and they become a blessing to others.