Yesterday I was working on a letter that I will use to ask others to give. It was interesting because after my yesterday’s appointment I realized that I was forgetting someone who (over 3 decades ago) taught me a lesson I had seemed to forget. Giving isn’t about the person one is giving to, but is truly about the one who is giving.
Needing guidance I decided to go to the one place in the world that I trusted the most that would give me the insight I needed, and that is when I opened my Bible.
I opened it to 2 Corinthians 8.
Here we go…
Now, I want to tell you dear brothers and sisters, what God is his kindness has done for the churches in Macedonia. Though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, their wonderful joy and deep poverty have overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the gracious privilege of sharing in the gift for the Christians in Jerusalem. Best of all, they went beyond our highest hopes, for their first action was to dedicate themselves to the Lord and to us for whatever directions God might give them.
So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place to return to you and encourage you to complete your share in this ministry of giving. Since you excel in so many ways— you have so much faith, such gifted speakers, such knowledge, such enthusiasm, and such love for us— now I want you to excel also in the ministry in giving. I am not saying you must do it, even though the other churches are eager to do it. This is one way to prove your love is real.
You know how full of love and kindness our Lord Jesus Christ was. Though he was very rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.
I suggest that you finish what you started a year ago, for you were the first to propose this idea, and you were the first to begin doing something about it. Now you should carry this project through to completion just as enthusiastically as you began it. Give whatever you can according to what you have.
If you are really eager to give, it isn’t important how much you are able to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you don’t have. Of course, I don’t mean you should give so much that you suffer from having too little. I only mean that there should be some equality. Right now you have plenty and can help them. Then at some other time they can share with you when you need it. In this way, everyone’s needs will be met. Do you remember what the Scriptures say about this? “Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough.” 2 Corinthians 8: 1-15
When I was starting high school we moved. I would begin my freshman year starting all over again, and since this wasn’t the first time I moved, I needed to size up which group of friends I wanted to make. Did I want to hang with the popular group? Did I want to hang with those who played sports? Did I want to sing in the choir and hang with the band? What did I want?
After the first day of school I got on the bus to come home. Not knowing anyone I went to find a seat. Everyone had saved a seat for their friends, and I didn’t have any so I kept walking towards the back of the bus until I found one seat that was open. Within a moment I realized why the seat was vacant. Nobody wanted to be this person’s friend. I asked if I could sit down, and from that moment on this young boy and I became friends. He would forever remain the Forrest Gump in my life, and from that day forward the two of us always saved a seat for each other.
After high school the two of us went our own ways, and one day as I was leaving the parking lot in college, and I saw this person. He was sleeping on a bench as he waited for the bus. I immediately pulled over and asked him if he wanted a ride. He jumped in my car and I smiled. Then he said, “Gina, I want to thank you for being my friend. You were always my friend, and you always let me sit next to you on the bus. Now, I ride the bus home alone.”
The moment he said that I cried, and pulled my car over. He had no idea that by him allowing me to sit with him, he gave me a friend. He had no idea that no matter what was going on within my life, I knew that each morning and each afternoon my heart looked forward to our friendship. He was genuine and different and because of that so many people couldn’t see the gifts that he was born with. He knew how to give acceptance and love away freely, and because he “freely” gave me his seat next to him, I learned the most important lesson I’ve ever learned…
The moment one gives to another we then become equals. There is no division between people!
And, that is why Christ gave so freely. He wanted to show us that there is no division between any of us. Each person is important, and worth sharing a seat with on the bus!
ONWARD TO PURCHASING A BUS TICKET!