Friday, March 30, 2018

Love Offerings


“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there will be food in my house.  Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I may not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
–Mal 3:10

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.
–2 Cor 9:10

Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994), a government official and religious leader wrote, “Our parents deserve our honor and respect for giving us life itself.  Beyond this they almost made countless sacrifices as they cared for and nurtured us through our infancy and childhood, provided us with the necessities of life, and nursed us through physical illnesses and the emotional stresses of growing up.”  As Proverbs 11:25 says, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”  

Henri Nouwen (1932–1996), a Dutch Catholic priest explained, “When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.”  This is what we can expect from loving families and friends.

Acts of Kindness

Matthew 6:2 reminds us: “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others.  Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”  But how should we view acts of kindness?  Paul Bloom (b. 1963), a Canadian American psychologist said, “We are constituted so that simple acts of kindness, such as giving to charity or expressing gratitude, have a positive effect on long-term moods.  The key to the happy life, it seems, is the good life: a life with sustained relationships, challenging work, and connections to community.”

A lot of this goodness can come from simple acts.  Rosa Parks (1913–2005) did just that.  She recalled, “People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true.  I was not tired physically… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”  Parks’ actions came to have unbelievable social consequences.

Giving Back

A philanthropist Ron Conway (b. 1951) wrote, “I believe we all have a responsibility to give back.  No one becomes successful without lots of hard work, support from others, and a little luck.  Giving back creates a virtuous cycle that makes everyone more successful.”  Was this the best in us that Colonel Sanders (1890–1980), a businessman was speaking about?  Sanders was referring to his gifts when he stated, “No hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me.”

Simon Sinek (b. 1973), an author saw that friendship as important in this equation.  He wrote, “The strong bond of friendship is not always a balanced equation; friendship is not always about giving and taking in equal shares.  Instead, friendship is grounded in a feeling that you know exactly who will be there for you when you need something, no matter what or when.”


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