He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor. Proverbs 22:9 KJV
I am blessed to work for an organization with service to the community at the core of its mission. I am grateful to have learned about giving as I witnessed it from childhood – my parents providing for my sisters and me; friends and loved ones supporting each other in times of bereavement; watching my grandmother give of herself when she had little. Even when our nation was attacked on 9-11, I saw people pouring out love and time and money to support our rebuilding. We need more of that…
Why is giving important? Why does it matter? Can’t we just concern ourselves with, well, ourselves? If someone has a need, it’s their fault, right? They can figure out a solution to their own problem. Well… no, that’s not how it’s supposed to work.
Allow me to share a personal story…
A few years ago, my husband and I enjoyed dinner out one night, as we frequently do, not realizing how this particular night would end. We were driving through downtown headed home when we saw something that surprised us both. At the corner, in front of a law firm’s office, we witnessed a man digging through a trash can. My husband stopped the car, opened his window, and yelled to ask the man if he’d been searching for food. The man, whose face was hidden to me in the early dark, turned and shook his head yes. I immediately became angry and totally disgusted. So did my husband, to the point he nearly commanded the man to walk around the corner to a nearby restaurant so we could buy him food.
What an eye-opening experience. I’d never seen anyone rummaging through garbage for food. I tell you, seeing that man made me truly thankful. To this day, I think of that man each time I pass that same corner.
The lesson from that night was an important one. One can’t see something like that and not act. You can’t have, and then not give.
What my husband and I did for that man is not something over which we boast. The point is give. Give of yourself because you are grateful, because you’ve been blessed to do so. That’s why. Give as you’re led, and cheerfully, without looking for a pat on the back. That’s how.
In case you need another example, the ultimate act of giving happened on the cross.
How is God calling you to give?