Luke 6:38 – If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving — large or small — it will be used to measure what is given back to you. (NLT)
While there is joy in receiving, there is greater joy in giving. We are all taught to say "thank you" when we receive something, but what about saying "thank you" when we give something away? And who else is there to thank but the One from whom all bounty flows?
The simple act of giving is a reminder to us that God has given us so much, and that we are privileged to be able to share. When we give a few coins to a street musician or a panhandler, it is a reminder to us that God has given us more money than we need. When we offer a seat to an elderly or handicapped person on the bus, we can remember that God has given us physical strength and health.
When we reach out and hug a person who is sad, it is a moment to remember that God has eased the burdens of our lives. When we spend time with a friend, listening to and being with him or her, we can think how wonderful it is that we have time to spend in this way. When we go to visit a sick person in the hospital, or an elderly relative, we can remember that we have been given the resources to make someone else happy.
When we throw a dinner party, we can think how blessed we are to have the food, time, and happiness to give to others, and how blessed we are to have friends. When we play with our cats or our dogs, we can praise God for giving us a home to share with such delightful creatures. When we offer someone a lift, we can be grateful to God that we are blessed enough to own a car. And when we put money into the collection plate at church, we can say a prayer of thanks that such caring and like-minded Christians have come together to provide a spiritual home for the community.
Prayer: Dearest Lord, teach us to be aware of Your bounty each and every day. Teach us, Lord, that "luck" and "good fortune" are not guides for our lives, but that You are the giver of all blessings. And may we, in return, share with others all the kindness You have given each of us. In Your name we pray. Amen.