Are your gifts truly gifts for this Christmas? Know the giving of God. The Ancient Chinese also tell us that true giving is without any acknowledgment and without returns.Bible Reference: Matthew 6:1-4
- Mat 6:1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
- Mat 6:2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
Mat 6:3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
Mat 6:4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Christmas is a time of giving. Most of us give for the pleasures of blessing others. But we also give as a form of returning others' gifts, a forced-to kind of giving. If we give to gain recognition or seek other forms of returns then we are not really giving at all. It is but a business transactions and we may be burden by it. How many of us are dreaded by the number of gifts we "have to" buy because it will be impolite not to give back? So, are we really giving? The way of God is giving to benefit the recipient without expecting any return. Even better still, the recipient does not know who the giver is.
Your giving may be in secret
Here are some quotes from the Ancient Chinese Classics that show how the Way of God or the Dao.
中庸 12v1 君子之道，费而隐。
The Book of Centrality 12:1 The way of the wise gentleman is board and precise at the same time.
That is the interpretation in the context of the chapter. However, if we go by the specific meaning of the words, we find a specific example of what board and precise means.
费 is spending or giving things/money generously or widely
隐 is hidden or secret that could not be seen or known.
Hence, the true giving of God is giving without knowing one is giving nor threcipientnt know the person who is giving.
In Lao Zi's Dao De Jing, you will find many verses about the Way of God:
- C02 生而不有，为而不恃，功成而弗居；
Giving birth and yet not possessing. Serving and yet not demanding. Accomplished and yet not claiming credit.
- C10 生之蓄之，生而不有，为而不恃，长而不宰，是谓玄德。
Giving birth and naturing it. Giving birth and not possessing. Serving and yet not demanding. Growing and yet not forcing. Such is the Way of the Great Virtue.
- C51 生而弗有，为而弗恃，长而弗宰，是谓玄德。」
Giving birth and not possessing. Serving and yet not demanding. Growing and yet not forcing. Such is the Way of the Great Virtue.
- C08 上善弱水，水善利万物而不争
The best goodness is like water. Water benefits all things and fights with them not.
The Chinese Masters agree that such high standard is not attainable even by the Saints.
- 12v2 夫妇之愚，可以与知焉，及其至也，虽圣人亦有所不知焉。夫妇之不肖，可以能行焉，及其至也，虽圣人亦有所不能焉。天地之大也，人犹有所憾。故君子语大，天下莫能载焉，语小，天下莫能破焉。
The common man and woman in their simple mind can understand some part of the Way. However, for the thorough knowledge of the Way, even the saints still have much that they know not. The common man and woman, even sinful, is able to do what the Way teaches. However, to do completely what the Way demands, even the saints could not. The greatness of the heaven and earth cause people some regrets and disappointments. Hence, when the wise man speaks of the greatness of the Way, the whole world could not contain it. When the wise man speaks about the smallness. the details, the specifics of the Way, the whole world is not able to divide or split it.
- Mat 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
- Mat 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
- Rom 7:24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
- Rom 7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh, I serve the law of sin.