Epaphroditus is one of the lesser known people mentioned in the Bible. He was barely mentioned at the end of Philippians 2. From what Paul tells us, we can tell that he was a former soldier possibly from the Praetorian Guard. We also know that he was a believer in Christ and a big help to Paul. We don’t know how he was saved or how he ended up in Philippi, but we know that he was willing to give his time, energy and life for the sake of Christ because verse 30 said he risked his life for the work of Christ.
He is a great example of giving for each one of us. We don’t have to have a lot in the bank to give something. We can be like the widow who gave her two mites in the offering. Jesus said she gave more than all the others. We can be like the churches in the New Testament who gave to the apostles as they spread the Gospel. Without their contributions, the Early Church wouldn’t have had the ability to spread like it did. We can be like Epaphroditus who gave of his time and talents to help others.
God isn’t so much concerned with how we give as He is with us just being givers. I heard a phrase yesterday that sparked something in me. It said, “We need to be go givers instead of go getters.” The world tells us to be go getters. “Take all you can, save up your money, get rich and live in luxury.” But that’s not what Jesus said. He said, “Sell all you have, give it to the poor and come follow me.” His point was that we shouldn’t be tied to earthly wealth. We shouldn’t store up everything only to make ourselves comfortable. We should be mindful of others and store up our treasures in Heaven.
I’m not saying that saving money is bad or even having a lot of money is bad. I believe God blesses each one of us according to our abilities and willingness to give. If you want more of what you have, give it away. If you want to know what it’s like to have the windows of Heaven opened up and blessings poured out that you can’t contain, then give. Give your time, your talents, your abilities, your money or whatever God asks you to give. He is interested in our ability to trust Him for our needs rather than for us to feel self sufficient in our own abilities to accumulate wealth or to develop talent that will get us where we want to go.
One of my favorite phrases from one of my favorite hymns says, “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.” God’s love for us outweighs anything we could ever do to repay Him. The least we can do is to give back to Him what He has blessed us with. For Epaphroditus, that was his life in service. For the widow, it was all the money she had. For the Early Church, it was their possessions. Each of us have a choice. We can be like the rich, young ruler and walk away sad because we’d rather be a go getter or we can choose to be a go giver. We can be someone who stores up treasures in Heaven through giving. What will you give to God today?
6 responses to “Being A Go Giver”
“Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all”. A great hymn and one of my favourites, too – but so challenging. In fact a bit frightening. Can I truthfully say that my whole life is given over to God? Only by grace …
I’m not sure any of us can truly say it, but that shouldn’t keep us from trying. We have to give what we can and not hold back. It’s a process each day and a goal we have to strive for. Thanks for sharing.
Very inspiring post! Enjoyed reading it. I really liked the phrase “Go givers”. That’s a great way to look at our possessions, time, talent, etc. We should try to out give what we gave yesterday. Not compare ourselves with others, just do what God places inside each of us.
Amen! When we compare our giving to others we lose sight of the reason for giving. We are only responsible for what God calls us to give. The two mites didn’t seem like much compared to others, but to God they were everything.
Chris, I really enjoyed this post. It affirmed some things for me that were hovering abound in the back of my mind.
I think people would find they actually receive more when they give if they could find the courage to not worry about the “getting” and allow God to provide.
Thanks for letting me know! I agree so many people give with the anticipation of getting. That’s the wrong pretext. We should give as a sign of trust and thanksgiving to God, not so we can receive. God knows our hearts and gives greater returns to those who give without expecting to receive. Thanks again for your insight.