If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:3 NIV
I read this verse shortly after the 70k that we ran to raise money for Emmanuel’s kidney transplant. Yes, I gave my body over to hardship and I did it for the “poor” in other words for someone who needed something.
One would think that doing something good would at least earn you a bit of good will. Call it karma if you want to. Yes, we feel good when we have done something for a good cause. But the motive is important. The Bible says that all good deeds we do are worth nothing if we do not also have love. So no, there is no good karma for selfish giving.
There are any number of things that motivated me for doing what I did:
- I did it as part of my exercise program since I want to run 100k in February. (Motive: my development)
- I did it to receive praise from my friends. (Motive: my honor)
- I did it to accomplish something great. (Motive: my self-esteem)
- I did it so that others may think I am so generous and kind (Motive: my honor)
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind,” says the Bible. And “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Loving like this means there is no place for selfishness. This is love that does not care what others think of you. So LOVE is the only proper motive for good deeds. Love for Emmanuel , “God with us” or in other words Jesus Christ, and for Emmanuel, my friend who needs a new kidney.
The question we need to ask is if we care. Do we care for the poor or sick when we give or is it just a duty? Or worse, do we do it because we want to take pride in it?
I believe that we are incapable of loving in a truly selfless manner. It is only when God himself empowers us that we can do it. Jesus set the perfect example when he died like a criminal because of love. Watch this to understand what I mean.
Meanwhile, I have time to reflect on this. I realized that I injured my foot. It looks like extensor tendonitis. Hopefully, I will be able to run again soon, but until then, I will enjoy a bit of rest and cycling for fun.
Here are some images I took yesterday while cycling to Tiker Taal and back.