Words of My Life 2: Give
In ongoing celebration of my Jubilee year of 50 years in ministry and 70 years of life, I am sharing some of the words of my life.
My grandchildren are coming to visit in a couple of weeks. I spent two hours today choosing some new things for them to play with when they are here.
Some friends in New York are doing a creative outreach for women in that amazing city. I gave a little to help make it happen. Our Compassion daughter in Haiti had a birthday recently. Of course I sent a gift.
The homeless man in the wheelchair needed someone to talk to more than the bit of money I gave him. I entered into his loneliness for a few minutes.A sweet girl I love loves horses (I get that!). A friend of mine does a fun horse camp each summer. I treated her to a week with horses.
I could go on. I’m rather addicted to giving. It is one of the greatest joys of my life.
From time to time my husband reminds me that we do not have unlimited resources. But I remind him that God does. And surely this passion to give is a gift from God.I had a great model: my mother. She was one of the most generous people I know. I’m sure that she sacrificed her own needs many times in order to give to me and my sisters. And to all her grandchildren.
And God has encouraged, exhorted, commanded us to give—generously, cheerfully, sacrificially. (2 Corinthians 9:7, 11; 1 Timothy 6:8; Mark 12:42-43). I love to give generously and cheerfully, though I don’t think I have ever given truly sacrificially
But surely I have been blessed by the Spirit with a gift of giving. I am grateful. In reality, though, we are not wealthy by our culture’s standards. Actually that is intentional. My husband and I each committed our lives to God—all we are and have and will be belongs to Him. And when we married, in our first planning time together, we made this a goal: to not pursue wealth.
God has been kind to give me resources occasionally to give financially. But He also reminds me often that there are many ways to give: I love to give meaningful gifts—something that says “I know you and this is just right for you.”
I can give wise advice, which I am usually very glad to do. Hopefully when it is requested.
Words of encouragement and blessing come easily to me—I love to share them. Time is more valuable than money, and I have many opportunities to give myself in real time. Sometimes this is challenging for me—I say too easily, “That’s not in the schedule.” A great gift is to listen. My ministry responsibilities involve a lot of speaking, and many moments to sit and listen. For many people a hug is a welcome gift. As are tears. That is frequently the kindest thing I can do—weep with someone who weeps.
And I can pray. What an amazing gift—to bring a person to the throne of God, asking Him to touch their lives, meet their needs, comfort them, cover them with His grace. My response? That’s easy. Just as we say “Thank you” for gifts given to us, so my heart is filled with gratitude that God has asked me to give.
What about you? When do you find joy in giving?
C 2014 Judy Douglass