Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It is more blessed to give...Mathematical Proof

A few weeks ago our pastor gave a sermon based on Acts 20:35.  This is a quote from the Apostle Paul, spoken to the elders in Ephesus:  “…remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

There are several things interesting about this quote.  First, this is the only recording of these words being spoken by Jesus.  So, how did Paul know Jesus made this statement?  Did he actually hear Christ speak these words while He was on earth?  That raises some interesting thoughts.

Second, what exactly does this mean?  In his sermon, Pastor Dave defined blessed as being “happy.”  The statement then can be interpreted to mean that “we are happier when we give.” This being the title of the sermon.  You can listen to the whole message at

Finally, why is this true?  Personally, I’m pretty happy to receive a gift.  So, why is it true that we are happier, more blessed, when we give?  Well, I have a theory, but it involves some math, so try to follow along.  Here’s the math:  1 + 1 = 2

Here’s the word problem to go along with the math.  If receiving equals one unit of happy and giving equals one unit of happy, then the entire process of receiving and giving equals two units of happy.

My theory is that you cannot give until you have received.  Therefore, both elements are present and the act of giving is equal to the blessing of both receiving and giving.

Before you click and run off to another website, let me try putting this into a practical example.  How about teaching?  That should be a good example.

It is more blessed to teach than to learn.

In order to teach you first have to learn.  And, you get the blessing of learning.  Then, when you share that information with others, you get the blessing of helping them learn.  Teaching is a double blessing.

What happens if you teach without first learning?  That’s fraud.

What happens if you learn without sharing with others?  That’s selfish greed.

To receive the double blessing you must first receive/learn.  And, then you must share/teach.

Mathematically, it is more blessed, 2X, to give than to receive.

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