In the early 1980’s we accepted our first position as senior pastors at a small church in northern Michigan. Those four years were rich in relationships and pastoral experiences. However, our first Christmas there, things were financially tight. A charitable agency reached out to us with a gift card for $60. It seemed like a million dollars when we went shopping. Since then our financial situation has vastly improved, still I am reminded of the kindness of that origination whenever I enter a store during the holiday season.
You would think, that when kindness is shown to a person—the automatic response would be to pay it forward. Sad to say, it ain’t so. In my adult life I have experienced an abundance of kindness and generosity, but I’ve not always responded in kind. A few years ago, someone I respect told me about a decision he and his wife made to never ask—To Give or Not To Give. The decision for them would always be—to GIVE.
There is a story about a man who confronted a missionary at the close of his service. This man was upset because the missionary’s message had put too much pressure on the congregation to help the poor. His words to the missionary went something like this, “Why do you even bother trying to help the poor? It’s like trying to empty the ocean one bucket at a time.” The missionary replied, “I may not be able to empty the ocean but let it be known I emptied my bucket.”
Much is required from those to whom much is given, for their responsibility is greater. Luke 12:48 (TLB)
In light of this scripture, next time you have an opportunity to help, what will you do? The challenge we all face is—To Give or Not To Give.
To Give or Not To Give
Beverly Joy Roberts
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