The Art of Giving

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No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. -Aesop

                    Giving is a big subject in the church, and so it seems like the only giving that gets talked about is giving money and tithes in the church. I however, experience people giving to me, me giving to others, things other than money, and most of the time, it isn’t always to the benefit of the other person.

Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go. -Mother Teresa

          Giving can come in many forms, giving time, kindness, words of affirmation, presents, journals, letters, smiles. Giving is not limited to money, though that can be a way of giving too. Today, I experiences something I don’t get to experience often, giving. Today is Valentines day, and so I got to spoil the people around me, and though it rendered me almost without any money (as I am a college student), I felt wonderful in bringing joy to them. I feel bad and often selfish if I cannot share or give much to others, and these gifts and time were my way of giving to the people that I love. I was able to bring happiness to everyone I love. I am in college, and when money is given to me, whether from work or my parents trying to make sure I eat, I try to spend a little on others when I can.

               My fiancé, was expecting just a card today but I wanted to show him that not only do I like to get him things he wants but as a soon-to-be wife, I am okay with him having time to play video games. That was my way of showing him that I love him, and accept him for who he is. My roommates I tried to get something that matched their personalities. The biggest grace and joy that I got though, was the giving of my time and affection to a friend. Today, I felt very free after spending money on everyone, it felt so good to be able to make others smile, not only with gifts but with time. I would love to be able to tithe weekly and have groceries and pay for people’s gas or food, but as a college student, I can’t. I don’t get paid much right now, and when I do it mostly goes to food.

                        Now don’t get me wrong, tithing is so important, and it is good to tithe, but we have a tendency to forget that giving doesn’t end when we leave the church building. Giving just presents itself in different ways outside of the church building. I know that I can be very selfish as a person, but sometimes, some of the best things I have given, are the opportunities for others to be listened to, for others to be loved. We don’t always have to give a physical present (though they are nice) to give someone something. Sometime, our time and our love is all they need. Jesus didn’t have much to give when He was with he disciple, in fact sometimes, they had to sleep on the ground outside because there were no buildings for them to sleep in. Jesus’ gift to us was the greatest gift of all and it didn’t come in a neatly wrapped box marked “With love”. His body was given on the cross and his stomach was “Marked with Love” and that is the biggest example of a present that didn’t have to do with money or physical wrapped boxes.

        God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, bled, and died, it was God saying to the world ‘I love you’ -Billy Graham

The only peace we can find, is in our soul, when we accept the truth of our nature, the beauty of God, and the gift of life. -Unknown

And my God will meet all your needs according tot he riches of His glory in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:19

            The reason God blesses us sometimes with an overabundance of something, or even, just enough sometimes, is sot hat we can bless others. I have watched this many times from my best friend, she has paid for my toll without telling me, she has given families gas money, she has taken in people. My best friend, in many ways, is being used by God, to show me, His characteristics. She gives, and gives, and when she receives back is so happy but wants to always give more to the other person. My roommates have taken care of me in different ways while I was sick, and have ended a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. Matt has given me so much love, someone to talk to, someone to share my life with, given me money or groceries when I am in need. I am so proud to be associated with all these people, they are examples of the kind of giving that happens outside of tithing.

                       I hope that, you get the opportunity to give someone something, whether it be time, money, or a gift, or even just a smile, I hope you remember.

Father God,

Thank you for giving us opportunities to love others, and to give them our time, our attention, our love, and sometimes gifts and things they are in need of. Thank you for Jesus, and Him giving the most wonderful and amazing gift. Thank you for providing for us each and every day. Thank for when you bless us that we may bless others. We truly want to learn more about this aspect of your heart. Please teach us how to use it in our lives, teach our hearts to be free of material things, teach our hearts to be free of restricting our giving even when times are tough. I pray that we would have opportunities to listen to others and love on them, and show them your light.

Thank you loving Lord, Jesus,

Amen

Much love,

M

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