In life, there are people who are givers, and people who are takers. I bet if you think of anyone in your life, you can easily determine if they are a giver or a taker. Do you feel blessed by them, encouraged by them, happy around them, look forward to seeing them? Or do you feel drained, discouraged, upset or have a knot in your stomach when you know you're about to talk to them or see them? Chances are, if you feel the second way, that person in your life is a taker. They take from you - emotional energy, your time, your money.
What type of person do you want to be? What type of person do you think you are? Do you look for ways to give to others, or do you look for ways to get OUT of giving to others?
I want to be a giver. I may not have a lot, but what I do have, I want to use to bless others and encourage them. I know that when we give, especially out of our lack, God blesses us abundantly.
This morning I woke up and looked in the fridge, and realized I had nothing for my boys to eat for breakfast. Literally. Nothing for breakfast. I could have cooked up some spaghetti for them, but I wanted some breakfast food. Eggs = out. Cereal = out. Oatmeal = out. Pancakes = out of ingredients. Bread = out. I opened the fridge 3 times to look again and actually prayed for ideas. Nothing. So, I ran out to Trader Joe's and bought $80 worth of food for this week and came home. My boys feasted on blueberry waffles, cereal, orange juice, and some yummy cranberry orange bread. I stopped for a minute and thought "Thank you, Lord, that I can go out and buy food when my family needs it. I can buy more than what we need at the moment. Thank you for that blessing."
Last week I ran to Kmart for toilet paper, and a lady walked into the parking lot from the neighborhood across the street. It is a nice neighborhood. But she was dressed in her pajamas and slippers, had sloppy red lipstick on her face, and didn't look very "put together" for the store. She approached me: "Ma'am, can I please borrow $2 to buy orange juice for my kids?" I honestly did not have any cash on me and said I was sorry. (I did start wondering why she would want to buy orange juice of all things if she didn't have any money or food, but anyway....)
So, back to today. I started thinking about how there are people ALL around me that do not have money right now. They don't have enough food for breakfast. Some of these people are good friends, who are too embarrassed to admit their situation. They don't want to ask for help. But when we pray that God will show us the needs around us, He will. In the past year I have discovered that many people in my life could barely put food on their tables. Some were eating bean burritos for lunch and dinner because that's all they could afford. Some had their electricity turned off. Some had their cars repossessed. Some had to start visiting food banks. These are friends, not strangers. Friends with families just like mine.
Today I began to ask God how I could help. I believe God wants us all to be givers, and that means different things for different people. One of the things I am going to do with my blog in 2010 is start challenging us to give one thing a month. During the first week of every month, check back here for a new idea of how you can give. For some people, God may want you to give BIG. For others, God will want you to do what you can.
This month, I would like to challenge myself and everyone out there to give food. Pray about what this will mean for you personally. In the month of January, pray that God will show you one person or family to give food to. God may not even choose to show you someone in dire need of food. It may just be a family he lays on your heart that you think is doing great financially, but He wants to bless them through you. Be obedient to who He would lay on your heart, even if you don't think or know they are in need. You just never know.
Here are some ideas:
- Take someone a meal. Anyone! You can even take a bag lunch to a homeless guy if that's what you feel God wants you to do. Make a dinner for a neighbor. Is someone sick from your church or just had a baby? Arrange with them a night to bring them a meal. Nothing fancy, just simple.
- Give someone a plate of cookies, or a jar of jam, or a loaf of homemade bread. This act of service encourages people so much. They think "someone was thinking of me?" Who does not like to receive something homemade from someone?
- Invite someone over for lunch or dinner. Give them the gift of hospitality. You can even invite someone over for tea! A friend did this for me and I just loved it!
- If you want to give big, buy groceries for someone. You can even do it anonymously and leave the bags on their porch. It is humbling to have someone do this for you, but when someone is in need, it feels like God in the flesh has just reached down to answer their prayers.
- Donate food to a food pantry. Clean out your cupboards. But don't just give your old, unwanted cans; give food away that will be missing from your pantry. Don't let this be so easy!
There are so many ways you can give food to someone. But that is the challenge for January 2010.
Don't do this because:
~ You want to feel better about yourself
~ You want to get a blessing from God
~ You feel sorry for someone
Do this because:
~ You want to become a "giver" in life
~ You want to honor God with what He's given you
~ You want to obey His command to take care of the orphans and the widows.
~ Because you want to show God's love.
Will you join me? Leave a message and let me know. Better yet, grab the button below and add it to your blog! (To do this, just go to your "Layout" page in Blogger, click on "Add a Gadget" and choose "HTML/Java Script". Then paste this code into that box. You can then drag the box wherever you want this button to show up on your blog). Thanks for sharing!!