I have learned a secret. I’ve learned that whatever I give out is what I’m going to get back in life. Have you learned this? When I give out criticism or negativity I get back criticism and negativity. But when I give out smiles or encouragement, I get smiles and encouragement back. It is a law of life that we sow and we reap. And we reap what we sow.
Jesus said it like this,
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38
The more we give away, the more we get back in blessings.
In Israel the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea both receive their water from the surrounding Lebanon Mountains. The Sea of Galilee is teeming with life, full of fish, bird life and animals for the water in it is fresh and flowing, taking in giving out flowing into the Jordan River. There are cities, restaurants, its shores are booming with activity. The Dead Sea also receives water from the mountains and from the Jordan River. But true to its name, it is dead, there is absolutely no life in it, it is the saltiest body of water on the face of the earth. Why? It does not give out. It only takes in. Some people are like that, they are similar to a cess pool because they take take, take and never give out. And it leads to a miserable life. The most miserable person is the person who only sees himself.
We don’t build statues or name buildings after those who have taken. Remember in Iraq, when Saddam Hussein was removed from power, one of the first things the people did was to break down his statues? He was a taker not a giver.
What do you want to be remembered for? We’re most honored for what we give.
On an actual tombstone in England,
“Here lies someone who only lived for himself
and cared for nothing but gathering wealth
Now where he is or how he fares
Nobody knows and nobody cares.”
If you interviewed my kids, Kaleb, Noel and Danielle, I would want them to say , “My dad is a generous man — with his time, his money and his life.”
I want my children to see me be generous to see me give. They see us make money. They see us spend money. They see us enjoy our money. But do they ever see us GIVE our money? That’s why I encourage you, before our THRIVE emphasis comes to an end, have a family conference. Sit down and everybody join in. “What do we want to give as a family?” Every person should be involved. I want my kids to learn to be unselfish. I want my kids to learn to be generous.
There are two types of people in life: takers and givers. The happy people in life are people that are generous with their lives. Jesus said, ” Give and it will be given to you.” The word miserable comes from the root word “miser”. The more I hold on to what I’ve got, the more miserable I become. It’s the person who is generous in his lifestyle that is happy. They bless others and give life. They also receive life, joy and blessings in return.
Here’s recent example for us. When Niki started her own Physical Therapy business, she stopped working at Seton, which meant she stopped getting a paycheck and opened her own business. She opened in September and by December she was already completely booked with patients and she didn’t have any openings until January. We were talking about how great her business was doing and it dawned on us why. While she stopped getting paid at Seton in August, the money didn’t come in from the insurance companies for her business until April BUT we kept giving the same amount we had been giving. Our income was cut, but our giving stayed the same. We were giving a percentage of what we do not presently have. We could have said, “lets wait, let God bless, then we’ll give.” Now God is pouring so much back into us, we will get even more than we were in the first place which gives us more to give!
Some people want to say, “God, You give to me and then I’ll give.” But that’s not how it works It’s like, “God, You bring in this big windfall and when it arrives then I’ll give some of it back to You.” That may be gratitude but that certainly isn’t faith. Giving generously out of faith is when you can’t even afford it, but you give in advance anyway. It’s like you’re planting the seed in advance, expecting it to grow and multiply.
Anybody can give when you’ve got excess funds flowing over. Anybody can believe when it’s sitting there in front of you and anybody can obey when you already see the results. It’s when it doesn’t feel like it and it doesn’t make sense, that you’re stepping out in faith.
There was a guy who saw an advertisement for a cruise. The sign in the travel agency window read “Cruise — $100 Cash.” I’ve got a hundred dollars, he thought. And I’d like to go on a cruise.” So he entered the door and announced his desires. The fellow at the desk asked for the money, and the guy started counting it out. When he got to one hundred, he was whacked over the head and knocked out cold. He woke up in a barrel floating down a river. “I’ve been ripped off,” he thought. As he floated he saw another sucker in another barrel floated past, (the guy had an Aggie sticker on his barrel) and asked , “Say, do they serve lunch on this cruise?” The Aggie answered, “They didn’t last year” It’s one thing not to know. It’s another to know and not learn! For some of us its time to trust God and don’t keep getting whacked on the head and put up the creek with out a paddle! Its time to trust God with our finances! Trust Him, Give Him what He asks and see what happens.
I know what happens, God blesses me and others!
I hope and pray that you can be generous and experience the blessing of God in greater ways.