By Jill MacDonald
“Give me, give me, give me!” I hear that a lot! It seems like we are in a “give me” society. Many people focus on what they can get from others and from life. They have their hands out and expect them to be filled. When this is the perspective we come from, it can rob us of true happiness. When we have our hands out, it takes us to a place of expecting those things and then we need more and more to get us to the same level of “happiness.” It is an empty place to come from. On the other hand, when we seek to give and help others – not expecting anything in return – that is truly fulfilling. The ironic thing about this is that when you give, God blesses you for it.
Years ago I misunderstood this principle. I would give something to someone (an item or a service) and expect it to come back to me from the person I gave it to. I didn’t understand that God rewards the giver, but not always from the person we gave to. I have also come to understand that it can come back to us in so many different ways. And often, it comes back to us multiplied many times over! However, it’s important to note that we are blessed for giving while not expecting anything in return; for God looks upon our heart. He knows what our motivation for giving is.
To give is to ultimately help ourselves at the same time, often in more ways than we can even see. A long time ago my brother died. It was a very tragic death and very sudden. It was extremely difficult for our family, especially for my mom. We all dealt with his death in different ways. I heard the saying,”time heals all wounds,” but that was not the case for me! (I have come to learn that time does not heal wounds, that is not it’s job and not what it is here to do! So, time doesn’t heal wounds – but Jesus does!) I called my mom one day and was talking to her about my brother. I was relaying to her my hurts and pains, and my struggles around his death. I asked her how she was doing, and surprisingly she told me she was doing pretty well – all things considered! I was shocked! How could she be doing so well? I didn’t understand. She told me about service, and that giving service was helping her to get outside of herself. It was helping her to heal. You see, she and my dad were on a service mission for our church at the time of my brother’s death. At first, I thought they should go home and not serve the mission anymore considering the circumstances. I’m sure that anyone looking at the situation from the outside would have agreed with that. Fortunately, they stuck it out and didn’t go home. According to my mom, that was her saving grace. She told me about experiences that she had where she had served someone and how little by little it changed her heart. When she stepped outside of herself and served, what she gave she received back one thousand fold! She was blessed far beyond those simple moments. She received the healing she needed! I am glad she shared those experiences with me; I took them to heart. Just hearing about them blessed me in profound ways and helped me to heal as well. From that time forward I was more open to serving, understanding the blessing it would be in the life of those I served – and in turn blessing my own life as well. So serving is giving and receiving! For that everyone is blessed!
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