READ: Acts 20:34-35
- In Paul’s speech to the Ephesian elders (v17-38), he pointed out his own work ethic. As a part of his decision to work hard among the Ephesian community, he cites the words of Jesus, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” If we are already familiar with that phrase, it may not strike us forcefully. But if you think of it in light of American culture, it’s completely counter-cultural.
- But Jesus seems to be correct. Most people find giving something away much more satisfying than receiving something. At Washington School they do Santa’s Workshop (click here for details) each year because the children want to give something to their families. They often don’t have resources, but they always have desire. They know, internally at least, that giving is a good thing.
- One of the challenges of parenting is helping our children learn to move from being a receiver to a giver. We start by learning to share what we have and then we learn to give what we have. Soon we learn that giving is actually joy producing and stimulates lots of good feelings. But it’s bigger than just feeling good. Eventually we discover that giving changes our whole perspective on why we have what we have. We are moved to become more and more generous because that makes us more and more Jesus-like.
- If 0=selfish and 10=generous, where are you?
- Which direction are you moving? More toward 0 or more toward 10?
- How do you help others grasp the idea that giving is more rewarding that receiving?
PRAY: Commit to developing a spirit of generosity. Pray that you will have opportunity and resources to give. Ask God to (further) open your heart to giving.