This picture is the visual image of my morning drive to attend church on the first Sunday of 2013. Funny thing is that I overslept my alarm clock that morning and was rushing to get ready and left the house a little ticked at being late and starting off scattered. And that feeling lasted until I stopped looking at the inconveniences and looked up into the morning sky. I saw one of the most beautiful sunrises that stopped me in my tracks. The morning sunrise reminded me of God’s beauty and all the possibilities of new beginnings. And as if that were not enough, when I got to church the message from the pulpit spoke of first fruits and giving back to God that which belongs to Him.
So here is the challenge I made to myself, and one that I now share with you. Today is your opportunity to commit (or recommit) to yourself that right now is the beginning of a new level of dedication to being a good steward of what you have been blessed with, and surely give the first fruits of blessings to Him. Be creative in your understanding of your blessings. Some are financial, but they don’t stop there. This is about more than money. Some are spiritual. Some are physical. Some are natural talents. And others can be relational. So look in each of these areas to identify your blessings, and find a way to give back the best part of it as a dedicated gift to God (the One who blessed you with the gift in the first place).
“More blessed to give than to receive”. When I was a kid, I never understood what that meant. I used to think that was something that parents just told you, but didn’t really mean, like “this is going to hurt me more than it is going to hurt you” as they were spanking you for doing something you knew was wrong. As a kid, I had zero responsibilities or financial cares, and even though we were never what anyone would call rich, we weren’t going hungry or wondering where our next meal was coming from. My parents both worked and provided a nice lifestyle for us. So I had no idea what in the world could be so great about giving, when receiving always seemed like the better end of the deal.
…And then I grew up. I grew up and had a child of my own. I learned what it was to be financially, physically, and emotionally responsible for another human being. I learned what it was to have to make choices about what to do with limited resources as a single parent. And I learned what the generosity of loved ones and sometimes even strangers could do in meeting the needs of another. Gifts of baby clothes, childcare, scholarships to summer camps, outings to an amusement park or movie, little luxuries that often get missed when there is not enough money.
…And then I grew up some more. I found myself in a position to be a financial blessing to someone else. I realized that to come full circle from needing the gift to being able to give the gift meant that I had been entrusted by my heavenly Father with the responsibility of using what he had placed in my hands to be a blessing to someone else. That’s when I got it. That’s when I understood that it is more blessed to give than to receive. If God can trust you to get a blessing (to one of His children) through you, then He will get a blessing to you! Don’t miss the opportunity to be used by Him to bless someone else! It feels great 🙂
So my advice to you is to look at your circumstances, and look in your hand, and no matter where you are in life there is someone in your path that you can be a blessing to. It doesn’t have to be money only – it could be time, it could be a kind word, it could be a craft or baked good. Look at what your Heavenly Father has placed in your care to bless another with. Release it and put it out in the universe! You will be richer for it!