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“It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
“Times are hard,” said the factory worker, when asked why he had personally raised $6,000 for his fellow workers after they had been robbed of their paycheck money. He felt sorry for his co-workers, and he didn’t want anyone to think he had anything to do with the theft.
The bandits had struck just as the man was returning to the factory parking lot from the bank. They robbed him of the $6,108 that comprised the pay of the hard-working men. The factory worker went to his bank and withdrew his entire savings of $2,000 and then raised the remaining $4,000 from friends and relatives. Thus he reimbursed his co-workers for their loss.
Here is real concern on the part of one man for his fellowmen! He sacrificed himself so that they would not suffer. He is a real giver. And I imagine he is a happy man, for those who think of others rather than themselves usually are much happier!
Charity is never lost
Conyers Middleton said, “Charity is never lost; it may meet with ingratitude, or be of no service to those on whom it was bestowed, yet it ever does a work of beauty and grace upon the heart of the giver.”
But what of those robbers? They are takers. They are the kind of people who are completely self-centered. The only ones they care about are themselves. And even though they may gain from their thievery, I doubt if their ill-gotten gains make them happy.
Although those of us who profess Christ should be givers–as our Lord is–I suspect many of us find it easier to relax into the course of least resistance and effort and just let others minister to us.
Oh, we’ll go quite regularly to Sunday school and church, and we’ll drop a token offering into the plate as it goes by. But actually we may consider ourselves too busy or may be too disinterested to contribute our time, talents, or tithes to the building up of our Lord’s body, the church. But, oh, what blessings we’re missing out on!
On the other hand, those who willingly give of themselves and their time to have some part in serving the Lord and His people know first hand what Jesus meant by the abundant life. They teach–and have the joy of seeing their pupils come to know Christ and grow in grace. They visit the lost, the backsliders, the bedridden–and have the joy of seeing lives changed and hope light up faces.
They take time to pray for the sick, the missionaries, the church leaders, and their fellow Christians–and have the joy of seeing prayer answered. Their willingness to give sometimes costs them a great deal in time, money, and effort. But they know the truth of what the Bible says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
Paul, who was one of the greatest givers of all time, made this statement and attributed it to Jesus. Now certainly he must have known from personal experience what he was talking about.
Another translation of “blessed” is “happy.”
Are you filled with the joy of the Lord as Paul was? If not, start following his example, and life will take on wonderful new meaning for you!
Questions: Are you a giver or a taker? Describe some ways that you are a giver?
About the Author Muriel Larson