Meijers, Marja. Grace of Giving: The Ten Commandments Series. Mustang: Tate Publishing & Enterprises, 2010. 116 pp. $10.99. Purchase at Amazon for $9.34 or less.
Marja Meijers was born and raised in Holland. She was saved by the grace of God in 2001 ad has been passionate about sharing the truths of bible ever since. Grace of Giving is one book in her Ten Commandments Series. Other titles written by Marja include Sacred Sabbath, Breath of Life, and Respectfully Yours all of which are available from Tate Publishing. She and her husband are both active in prayer groups and Teen Challenge-a ministry dedicated to helping young adults overcome addictive behaviors. You can read more from Marja at her website, Sacred Sabbath.
Grace of Giving is a book about three little words: “Do not steal.” As part of her series on the Ten Commandments, Marja says that at first she struggled with how to write a book based on those three words. Here is how she accomplished that goal:
First, she divided the book into three parts: the warning, the grace, and the promise. Second, she allowed for three chapters per part. In the first part, Marja shares the warnings from Scripture calling us to be a giving people instead of a gathering people (a real problem in America too be sure!). She asks the hard question of who is controlling me and then looks at our “everyone is doing it” mentality and challenges us to think biblically.
The second part looks at the grace offered by God through His sending of Christ to die in our place first and foremost. Second, she explains that everything belongs to God and we are to be stewards of what we are using. In the third chapter of the second section, Marja offers the important concept that there is more grace in giving than there is in receiving.
The final part looks at the promise of God. While not a give-to-get mentality, we are shown from Scripture that when we give to God (i.e., giving our lives over to Christ when we call Him both Lord and Savior) we will receive numerous blessings. The blessings that Marja focuses in on are the rebirth of our spirit, the salvation of our soul and the sacrifice of our body.
I really appreciated the perspective Marja offered in Grace of Giving. It is one thing to not steal. It is another to actually give. To not be a giving person–especially when you have been saved from your sin!–is to be a thief. You are a thief of the blessing you could have been. You are a thief of the joy you could have brought. You are a thief of the time you could have offered. Her writing style is engaging and real and breaks down superficial barriers created by man to circumvent the meaning of the eighth commandment.
I would caution the reader, however, to keep what Marja says in its proper and biblical context. It is easy to lapse into a give-to-get mentality when discussing the promises of God as concerns giving. The reason for giving ought to be from an overflow of thankfulness to God for His blessings and not in the hopes of receiving more blessings. Fortunately, Marja does a good job of keeping everything in context and centered on God’s amazing grace.
Grace of Giving is a great resource for anyone to think and contemplate what it truly means to not steal. With the inclusion of questions to meditate upon at the end of each chapter, this book becomes a nice book study resource for small group or personal edification.