When it comes to giving, some people stop at nothing. Based on how you read and interpret that sentence, it could have very opposing meanings. Do you stop at nothing in your generous efforts, or do you stop when you’ve given nothing?
As a young boy, my maternal grandparents gave me a devotional book to read each night before I fell asleep. I can still remember one of the book’s lessons about having a giving nature. That particular message was developed out of a conversation between two young boys, and it went something like this.
“I think everyone should share what they have,” said one boy to the other. “If I had $2 million, I’d give you $1 million.”
“That’s nice,” said the other child to his friend. “If you had two cars, would you give me one?”
“Of course,” came the reply.
“What if you had two houses?”
“Then I’d surely give you one.”
The second little boy then asked, “If you had two shirts, would you let me have one?”
The first child briefly contemplated the question and responded, “Well no.”
“Because I’ve got two shirts.”
Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to give away something you don’t own than it is to share what already belongs to you? I don’t know where I heard this, but someone once told me, “If you own something you can’t give away, it owns you.”
During the summer of 1984, I was working at Kanakuk Kamps, a non-denominational Christian sports camp located in southwest Missouri. One of the owners, Joe White, and I were walking across the facility’s grounds talking when another counselor ran past us saying, “Cool shirt Joe.” Without hesitation, Joe pulled the shirt off his back and tossed it to my fellow counselor.
O that I could so freely give. That act of generosity had a profound affect on me. If Joe could give someone the shirt off his back, it made me wonder why I don’t give more freely of what I have – including my possessions, my time, and my talents.
Walt Whitman once said, “When I give, I give myself.”
Fellow writer Ralph Waldo Emerson penned, “The only gift is a portion of thyself … the poet brings his poem; the shepherd his lamb … the girl, a handkerchief of her own sewing.”
In Luke 6:38 (NKJV), Christ said, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Then, in Acts 20:35 (NKJV), Paul proclaims, “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than receive’.”
Even if we don’t have hordes of worldly possessions, we can still give.
How about giving …
- a smile
- a helping hand
- a chance
- in to your spouse
- without strings attached
- safe haven
- a shoulder to lean on
- your best
- your time
This week, share those things you do have with others and stop at nothing in your generous efforts to give to everyone around you. The world – and you – will be much better for it.
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