Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Measure of Real Giving


Have you ever felt incapable of giving because of limited finances?  Should we feel limited of giving because we feel  we are already empty handed?  Specially during this Christmas season, most of us are worried how can we give thus we ended up burdened with cares of how to buy gifts for everyone.  But in the right perspective it is better when we give cheerfully and not just out of obligation.  Lately I have been thinking of how can I afford giving presents when we are in a very tight budget.  It sure is a lot easier to give with a thick wallet.  This is one reason why I am now asking the Lord to make me rich.  God made me remember of someone who showed an explicit example of generosity even out of poverty.

I have met this brother few years ago.  He was struggling too much and jobless that time.  There are times he would come asking us if he can lend few pesos even few kilos of rice with a promise that we would settle them as soon as possible.  I don't mind if he can't give it back but he does his best returning what he owed us.  I saw his dedication and love for the Lord.  He has a heart to serve the Lord in the ministry and help in any way he can.  He attended church programs and services faithfully.  He tries very hard to find a job to sustain their needs.  There are times he would drop by fruits and crops in the church.  I learned that he was gardening and those were some of the harvest from the farm.  With prayer and God's favor he was accepted in a job.  Typically at his age it is hard for him to be employed but I know it was God's answer to his prayer.

I had never understood him at first nor known him deeper till I see how God had blessed him.  Maybe because I am used to persons who suddenly disappears on my sight after being blessed.  I haven't noticed nor recognized the little things that he has been doing.  After a month of being employed he then received his first salary.  What happened then? He gave his tithes in the church and approached me that he wanted to help financially in the church.  I welcomed and thank him so much.  Till then he was faithful in giving and I learned that he had helped a lot of people even before.

I talked to my pakner4lyf and told him how sorry I am because I judged this brother (without him knowing) of his capability and even questioned his character.  I was somehow afraid at first that he would only use us like those people before who left us after being relieved of their own cares.  I didn't see his heart was pure and had given his very best.  He had given all he had since the first time  because he loved the Lord so much.  His dedication in attending  church gatherings and fellowships shows that his time is the only thing he had during that moment.  Those crops were his treasures and the only food he had but he didn't forget to give thanks to the Lord and bring a part of them in the church.  Now I see how God has truly blessed him because he wants to be a blessing to more people through giving.  His generosity is more magnified because he's no longer empty handed.  And I see that God will continually bless him because of his heart.

I am always reminded of this brother's testimony whenever I feel I had nothing to give.  Just like the poor widow's offering in Luke 21:1-4.  Now I learned not to look on how big or small gifts were.  What I need is a thankful heart to appreciate things even how little they are.  It's just amazing that God sees our hearts and measures our capacity to give according to our own status.  Jesus shown this attitude that he looks at the heart and our motives.  Outside or physical appearance is not of his standards to be acceptable.  Everyone has something to share whether rich or poor the only question is do you have that giving heart?  Being poor is not a reason or excuse not to share.  A giving heart always sees the opportunity to give his best and it is his full joy to bless people around him.

This Christmas season let's give not just out of obligation or we are giving because we expect greater things in return.  Let us give cheerfully knowing that we have received daily blessings from the Lord.  Our  own way of thanking and praising the Lord for his provision and extending this blessings to others in need.  Giving is not limited in wrapping material gifts for a person.   Remember we can't give what we don't have, stop pushing your self to give more than your capability to avoid being burdened.  Now look and examine carefullly, what is in your hands?   That's the start of  joy in giving.  Out of this joyful heart you'll be able to give the best Christmas gift ever!
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