The gift of giving

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There is no question about it, giving is an important part of your walk with Christ. When I was a kid, God always provided. There were times when my little brother and I were stranded and lost on the wrong side of town. We were hungry and did not have a dime to or name. My mom had been arrested or she was searching frantically for us in some parking lot. We were hungry and a stranger would stop their car and hand us a bag of burgers. What a blessing! 

Whenever we give, God gives us joy. We bless others and we are blessed in the process. The bible says “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly, will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” 2 Corinthians 9:6. Giving blesses both the giver and the receiver. This does not mean that if you give more financially, you will receive more financially. God blesses us in many ways including peace, wisdom, abundance, opportunity, relationships, and forgiveness. It’s not always about money.  

It has been my observation that communities respect those who give. People don’t remember the money you made or jewelry you displayed in pompous fashion, they remember your contribution to their lives. This contribution is a source of respect, dignity, and influence. 

In 2009, I did not have a car and I had recently been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease Lymphoma. I needed to go see the oncologist learn about my treatment options. I asked a friend from church named Tim for a ride. He gave me a ride to Hendricks Cancer Center in Abilene Texas and he got out of his car to walk me in. Once we met the oncologist, I told him that it was ok and that he could leave. He said “Terrance, I am here for you. I am going to stay right here as long as you need me to.” Tim changed my life. He demonstrated God’s love like I had not witnessed in a long time. I respect Tim as a leader in our community and I respect Tim as a man of God. 

Perhaps you feel like there is too much going on in life and you are not in a position financially to help anyone. My mother would jokingly say “I’m so broke that I can’t afford to pay attention.” That happens. We all have our ups and downs with finances. I have good news! You are in a great position to give! Just as Tim demonstrated, it’s not always about money. 

Give your enemies forgiveness. When you choose to forgive them, you are letting go of the pain of the past. You are declaring that the events that once hurt you, will hurt you no more! 

Give those who oppose you at every turn tolerance. These people may be in your community or at your office. Tolerance means that you can still live and exist together. Having tolerance means that you will still be able to get things done even if you are in disagreement. Grant yourself peace through tolerance and not frustration through resistance. 

Give your friends your heart and ears. Listen with love and cherish them. My mom always said “True friends are like diamonds, permanent and rare. False friends are like autumn leaves, you can find them anywhere.” 

Give every child in your life a good example to follow. Do more than talk. Travel the path that you promote and become the change that you seek. Give your family the one thing that cannot be replaced, your time.  Make new memories because you will cherish them forever. Give whenever you can and God will give it all back to you. 

Terrance Thomas

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