We all have our favorite things that we do not want to get rid of. We will be cleaning out our closets, giving to the good-will, getting ready for new Christmas toys, clothes, shoes, etc., but then we will run across a favorite item and think, I want to keep this. We have all been there. We think we have really gave something good when we give our used clothes and things to good-will or to a local shelter, and we have done good, as long as what we give is still nice and usable. Don't give junk, don't give toys that are broken or without batteries, if you give a battery operated toy, make sure you clean it up, and put new batteries and make sure it works.???? Who wants something that doesn't work? If you give clothes make sure repairs are done, and there are no holes, or tears or faded spots, or stained spots. Would you wear tore, faded or stained clothing, why would you expect someone else to want to?
The holidays are coming up and the Christmas season, the season of giving, brings out the wanting to give feeling in people. Let's have compassion in our giving this year, lets remember why we are giving. It is not about the biggest, brightest, most pretty wrapped present, it is about the heart that gave it, and the sharing of the reason when you give a gift. Try sharing the gospel and a little about Christ when you give a gift. Make this Christmas really about Him and not ourselves.
I read this story in 'Beth Moore's" book 'Voices of the Faithful' and I thought we should all give with compassion, and we should all give when there is a need, no matter what time of year it is.
" A Selfish Heart Changed"
Prov. 19:17(NIV) ......."He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will reward him for what he has done.".....
She was the fifth stranger who had come that day in need. "I have a problem," they each said. Why did they all expect me to clothe and feed their families?
I forced a smile in greeting, wondering if a few coins or a piece of bread would get rid of her quickly. She was thin, making her near term pregnancy obvious. "My baby is coming sooner than I thought. I have no towel to wrap him in," she pleaded. Compassion filled me as my earlier irritations melted away. Why was I so selfish?
I folded a towel and gave it to her, along with a few pieces of fruit and a bar of soap. Her face lit up as she clapped thank you. I lay in bed that night praying for her.
Two days later, a note arrived saying she had delivered a baby boy. She wanted me to come and name her son. Humbly, I named him David, a man after God's own heart. She seemed pleased with his name.
Later I found out that she had tested HIV positive before delivery. Her husband rejected her and his unborn child. Because she was tested she was able to receive medications to reduce the chance of her baby contracting the disease.
Six months passed, and I received a photo of chubby little David. "Look how our David is growing!" a note said.
The next time my day is interrupted with a person's need, I hope I will see it as God's invitation for a blessing.....
Becky, Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa
Just like this lady, sometimes we get so caught up in ourselves we miss out on the blessing of helping others.
Lord, I pray that you will open our eyes to the need of others, and change our selfish hearts to giving hearts, so that we may bring others the joy we have found in You. AMEN!