Sunday, November 28, 2010

If you could GIVE and never RECEIVE would you be happy?

I had a dream the other night about a woman walking toward me on a busy downtown street wearing a huge sweater that said: GIVE - GIVE. Since I am following God's promptings for this blog, I feel the need to talk about what it means to GIVE.

We are now into the season of giving.  The sad reality is that we have a society of takers.  And it is getting worse by the minute.  God wants us, commands us, to give of our time, talents and money.

I don't know about you, but I love to give, way more than to receive.  You see receiving implies that it is all about me and I just don't like that.  The fun part about giving is the finding of just the right item, the search!  Then how fun it is to watch the person's face as they open the gift.

I believe I have giving in my genes.  As a little girl I watched my Dad give away pens, balloons and calendars, to my friends and anyone he came in contact with. He was a salesman for Standard Oil Gas company and would help gas stations with their grand openings. He always had extra items left over, boxes and boxes of them.  No one who ever came into his store left empty handed - even the mailman!  My Dad was my prime example of a giver - he gave away items that he had, but he also gave freely of his time and was never in a rush when someone needed to talk.

Out of the three:  time, talent and money, I think the one today that people have a hard time giving of is their time.  Everyone seems so busy - too busy to even say hello.  People are in such a rush - I wonder when I sit in crazy traffic: where is everyone going?  You can ask anyone, "how are you?", and usually the reply is: "oh, I've been so busy!"  I for one, don't want all that busyness  in my life.  I find the more I keep things simple, the more time I have.  And this extra time then, I can spend with God, my friends, family, and neighbors.  How can we as Christians ever know anyone, or care for anyone, if we don't take the time to do it?

John 4 tells about the Samaritan woman Jesus encountered at Jacob's well.  The time was 12:00 noon and He sat down and asked the woman to give Him a drink of water.  Now the fact that He sat down implies a state of rest.  Jesus took the time to talk with this woman about Living Water, eternal life and salvation.  He gave of His time to talk with her about her life.  When she left the town, the Samaritan woman couldn't wait to tell her friends, "Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did!" John 4:29  Her excitement about all of this caused the Samaritans to believe and then they begged Jesus to stay with them, and He stayed two more days!!  There is such significance in this moment in time that Christ spent with this woman.  He listened, He rested  and He told her about her life.  All of this took "time".  The Samaritan woman must have felt like the most important person on earth when He told her He was the Messiah.  And imagine delivering the God breathed message: "God cares for me!"

This story happens to be one of my most favorite in the Gospel of John.  I would love to trade places with the woman at the well and sit there on a sunny, beautiful warm day and discuss life, my life with Jesus.  How awesome it would be to know that the most important person in history cared for me!

Giving of our time then, implies that we truly care.  I want to be the type of wife, mother and friend that makes other people feel like they are the most important person in the room.  I'm positive that everyone who encountered Christ felt that way.  People always seemed so excited to go tell someone else about their time with Him!

So as we are coming upon the season of Christmas, I challenge you to give of your time to someone who is aching for it!  We are all blessed with the 24 hours of each new will you spend your time?

Jesus said: "The way you give to others is the way God will give to you, but God will give you even more."  Mark 4:24

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