Give or Take Away

There are sometimes areas of our lives that we’re unaware of, areas that we don’t think to change or work on. The other day as I read through a devotion on giving to others, I realized a problem area in my life: I need to be more giving.

Now as a high school student that has no steady income of any kind, I often wonder what I can do to help others.

Galatians 6:10 says, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers.”

I think we are given more opportunities to give than we realize. A lot of my friends are high school and college age, it’s a delightful stage in life where what little money we do get typically has to go to college or maybe car payments…it’s fantastic (not really).

As I continue through this blog post, I do want to make sure that you know that giving tithe and offering is very important and I urge you to give to missions, if you can. I am not writing this to say “instead of giving money do this…” I want it to be clear that I am writing this for the people that have nothing extra to give, or as ways to help you give in other ways along with giving money. Just want to be clear before we continue. J

It can be really easy to be selfish with our time. It’s sometimes easier to cut people down rather than build them up. But as believers in Christ, this is not what we are called to do.
The power of life and death is in the tongue. (Proverbs 18:21)
We are to build each other up. (1st Thessalonians 5:11)
We are to love others. (Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31)

We can either give or take away. There’s always a choice, there’s always an opportunity.

It can be simple things like messaging an old friend that you’ve been thinking about recently.
It can be giving up your seat on the bus.
Taking a few minutes to encourage those around you.
Staying up late being there for people who need you, even though you have to be up super early the next day.
I think we sometimes overlook how important prayer is and how big of an impact it makes. Take some time out of your day to pray for others.

“…as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people.”

We are so closed minded to thinking that the only way to give and help others is just through money. But there is so much more we could (and should) be doing.
I think we see what other’s are doing and become discouraged by what little we can do. Just because someone can give a large donation and you can’t, doesn’t mean that God can’t use you, too.
As I am writing this, I am reminded of one of my favorite bible stories…

“Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”
Mark 12:41-44

Don’t be discouraged by what you cannot give, be encouraged that you have something to give.  My favorite quote is from Theodore Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
And in 2nd Corinthians 9:7 it says, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 

Challenge: Try to give more than you can get. And don’t give because you can benefit or get something from it.

I want to share the prayer from a devotion I read by Wendy Pope on the First Five app from Proverbs 31 Ministries (highly recommend!) I don’t typically like using other people’s ideas or wording…but this prayer impacted me so much and I wanted to share it with you. It is so well written. And of course, prayer is to be unique, so apply this to your own life and situation and areas where you need to give more.
(In the brackets is what I had added when I wrote this prayer down in my journal…just so you all can see what I was praying about.)

Lord, I don’t often see the needs of others because e I am too busy taking care of my own needs [or am too selfish in moments to see how other people feel] please forgive me for not being more aware and sometimes even cynical of the plight of others. [Help me to be careful about my words and actions. I know that they can give and take away from people’s happiness, I can tear down or build others up.] Give me Your eyes to see and ears to hear the needs around me. Propel me with Your love to step up and generously help without complaint or reservation. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

I think I will leave this blog post on that note, and with the reminder that we always have opportunity to give, even when we feel like we have nothing.

Au revoir,

-Anna Joy-

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