One man gives freely, yet gains even more, another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
– Proverbs 11:24-25
Do you agree with me that America today and much of the western culture included teaches us to be selfish? In fact, saving everything you possibly can for yourself is a favorite American past time. Of course it’s disguised by the title “planning for your retirement.” We are a culture so focused on financial greed that we actually have a channel on television where we can sit for hours and watch our investments increase and decrease by the minute. We can never be the people God desires us to be, if money is all we set our eyes on.
Today to be generous, especially when you have little is considered foolish. Yet God tells us in His word many times over that the heavenly way is different. The heavenly way is to give unceasingly out of what ever has been given to you. Every good and perfect gift is from above … James 1:17 Every good thing we have has been given to us from the Father in heaven and He tells us to be generous with it.
The most obvious meaning to these verses is to give of material things and to give financially. This trips many people up. Spoiling themselves or maybe loved ones is the most they can do. If this is you, here’s a little word of warning. The things you teach yourself are the very things that God does not have to step in and teach you His way. A few years ago selfishness might have been considered one of my better traits. Through much financial turmoil God has shown me that His way is best and today it is much easier for me to be a cheerful giver.
The more I meditate on the two verses above from Proverbs though, the more I see that God isn’t speaking in just material and financial terms. God is telling us to give of ourselves. Giving financially to a cause or the poor is good but how about giving ourselves. Instead of just handing someone less fortunate than myself some cash have I ever considered befriending them, making them a part of my life? Just think of the wonderful things they might give us. Each of us has been given at least one special gift from the Lord and it is this gift that we are to share with others to make the body of Christ whole. Our culture teaches us to be focused on ourselves but God says to look outward, to seek to do for and give to others.
Have you ever become so intimately acquainted with someone or something that just to hear a word or their name brings a warmth to your body and a smile to your face? There is a line from a Christian song I love that goes, “just the sound of your name is a beautiful thing and I love You, I love You, I love You!” This is the intimacy I’m talking about. It’s funny but after years of running C-H-I-L-D.com web site I almost feel that I own the word “child.” When I hear the word “child” being discussed, I immediately think I should be included in the conversation. The same goes for the name of Jesus. He is mine. Jesus is my Savior, my Confidant, and my Friend. He is my Protector, my Comfort, and my Supplier of all good things. Jesus is my everything… He is my God and without Him I have no good thing. Jesus is the greatest Gift that God has ever given to me. Please allow me to share Him with you.
Jesus, fully man and fully God, came to earth for the sole purpose of dying for you. He sacrificed His own life for the forgiveness of sin, all sin, even yours. He lived for a short time on earth and suffered greatly, giving Him the right to say He truly understands all that we go through while we are here on earth. If you accept His death as a sacrifice for your sin and Him as your Savior; if you commit your life to Jesus and make knowing Him and glorifying God your purpose for living, then you too can have this Gift. A few years ago I would never have been able to share such an extravagant Gift, today I do so freely and cheerfully. Just the sound of His name is a beautiful thing and I love Him, I love Him, I love Him!