The Privilege of Giving
By Carin LeRoy –
Years ago, when we were missionaries returning home for a furlough with our three children, we planned to live in upstate New York, near our sponsoring church. Coming from a tropical climate, we only had summer clothing and nothing for a cold, northern winter. Unknown to us, a lady from our church had taken it upon herself to shop at yard sales for sweaters and other warm clothes for our children. She arrived with several bags of clothes; in the bags were beautiful sweaters, coats, mittens, etc, for them to wear. What a blessing it was that this sweet lady was concerned enough to do something so kind for us. That winter, the kids had all they needed to stay warm.
Several years ago, I knew an abandoned single mom that was struggling to pay rent and keep food on the table for her three children. A couple decided they wanted to help by taking this young mother shopping every week to buy her groceries, diapers and formula. For a year and a half, this couple paid for her shopping until she no longer needed the help. Through this generous couple, help was given during a difficult time. What a blessing they were to someone in need.
We see an example of generosity toward others in 2 Corinthians, Chapter 8 by the Macedonian churches. “…Their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability” (verses 2-3). Verse 5 says that they gave themselves “first to the Lord.” In their giving, they wanted to serve the Lord.
In these bad economic times, there are many around us that need our help. Whether we offer that help in a monetary way or through the gift of time, there is something that each of us can do to help someone. Perhaps we can babysit for a single mother, cut an elderly person’s lawn, or find another way to volunteer. We might have the ability to buy groceries or give financially.
The Macedonians gave because they viewed it as a “privilege of sharing in this service to the saints,” (verse 3). To them, it was not a burden, but a joy to share. It should be ours, too. If you see someone in need today, consider it a privilege to help.
PRAYER: Lord, give me a heart that is willing to give to others. Help me to see that generosity toward others is a privilege and way to serve You.
BIBLE VERSE: “But just as you excel in everything–in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us–see that you also excel in this grace of giving” (2Corinthians 8:7).