Try It!

by Bill Denton

In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive'" (Acts 20:35, nasb95).

Thanksgiving was only eight days away. Michelle, who teaches the Bible in our mid-week children's program, decided to ask her preschoolers about the upcoming holiday. She thought it would be effective to have the class playfully correct some wrong ideas about Thanksgiving.

"Now let me see. Thanksgiving. That's the day when we think about all the stuff we have. And how we want more things than anybody else has. And how we don't care about anybody but ourselves. And"

"No!" the kids started to yell. "No-o-o!"

Then one little guy called out, "That's not Thanksgiving, Miss Michelle, that's Christmas!"

Rubel Shelly, Nashville, Tennessee

 

As they say, "Out of the mouths of babes ." It's really hard to teach young people about the blessings of giving. In reality, it's hard to teach older people about the blessings of giving. Despite the fact that the Bible reports that Jesus said that it's more blessed to give than to receive, most people just don't believe it.

It's hard to compete with the "Me" generation attitude. How in the world do you convince someone that it is somehow a blessing to give what you have to somebody else? Reason alone demands that we acknowledge the obvious blessing in receiving from others. What child in his right mind could possibly grasp the concept that giving things away provides something to us that getting things does not? And why pick on the children? Try to convince your standard, average adult of the same thing. You'll get similar results. It's just that adults know enough to give lip-service to the concept.

Those who have discovered the blessing in giving are often looked upon as eccentric or strange. We just have a hard time with this idea, and we need to admit our struggles with it. If we don't we will continue quoting the verse but without an appreciation for the truth in it.

How do you learn about the blessings of giving? You probably won't learn by talking or studying about it. That might help, for it will at least expose you to the idea, but it won't convince you. You could read books about generosity or philanthropy. That can help because it will expose you to people of great wealth and resources who discovered a meaningful purpose in life beyond accumulating a bunch of things and money. But, it won't really convince you.

I know of only one thing that has ever really convinced anybody that it is more blessed to give than to receive. That one thing is to become a giver. You have to experience this first-hand. The return on giving doesn't come in terms similar to what you give. Don't count on getting more money back than you give away, for example. The blessings of giving are often unexplainable, but they are very, very real.

I know, you don't believe me.

You'll have to try it to believe it.

© 2007, Bill Denton. All rights reserved
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Bill Denton has served in church ministry for more than 30 years. In addition to his preaching
and teaching ministry, Bill is also a licensed clinical pastoral counselor and has served
as director and counselor of a Christian counseling center.

2011 Disciple 155x50 2011 AMG 155x50
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