As a new believer, I thought giving was all about sharing my finances. A friend and mentor told me that giving is not all about money. Her statement confused me. How is giving not about money? I subconsciously began to watch her actions. She was single with no dependents like me. She operated on the principle of “save some, give some, and spend some.” My friend was a shopaholic yet one of the biggest givers at the local church. She subscribed to the Sunday newspaper for the sales papers and coupons. She managed her money well. In her shopping, she shopped for clothes, shoes, furniture, sheets, towels, dishes, and everything else. By Wednesday, she had her shopping list. On Saturday, we would be off on some shopping adventure. We talked about clothes, housewares, and life during these adventures. Our adventures ended in 2016 while my friend battled cancer. On those Saturdays without her presence, I pondered what she had taught me.
My mentor/my friend taught me several things about giving:
1. Giving is not about money. She did not always shop for herself. She spent money on school supplies for other people’s children. She used her talents with several nonprofits.
2. God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7). Sharing what she had with others invigorated my friend and brought her great joy.
3. Always be ready to give. If someone walked into my friend’s office and needed a stamp, she gave them one.
4. Time is one of the most important things you can give another person. On more than one occasion, my friend would go and sit with a co-worker whose parents had died. She spent hours pouring into me.
5. As you give to others, God pours back into you. Luke 6:38 says, “give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over will be put into your lap . . .” I jokingly called her home “Bethlehem-the House of Bread.” She had it-cleaning supplies, movies, music, etc., if you needed it.
My friend did not survive her battle with cancer. I was privileged to clean out her condominium. She had stockpiles of laundry detergent, undergarments, and school supplies. The list goes on. I made numerous trips to the local PTA thrift to donate items from her house. I found friends who would benefit from her possessions. Even in death, she left a legacy of giving. All those Saturdays shopping with my friend, I dreamed of the day when I could buy everything she bought. Now, I want to follow in her legacy of giving.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for the opportunity to leave a legacy of giving. Show me where and when I can give. Lord, let me not be afraid to share what you have given me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Your turn: What do you have that you can give? How will you share what you have? What will be your legacy of giving?