Embrace new opportunities to give. Try to find something to give every day—whether a smile, a compliment, your time, a listening ear, a good meal, an item you don’t need, or a kind word. There is always something you can share or give to others.
Never be content with what you gave from your heart yesterday. Imagine each day as a fresh new opportunity to give as much as you can.
Jesus and His disciples were in the temple observing people giving their offerings. A wealthy man approached the coffer, drawing as much attention as he could to the fact that he was giving a hefty sum. Following him was a widow. As quickly as she could she dropped in two mites, the smallest denomination of coin she could have given. The disciples muttered amongst themselves about how pitiful her offering was, but to their astonishment, Jesus told them she had given more than anyone else, for she had given all that she had.1
It was a typical morning in our home. We were all rushing to get ready for the day—kids getting ready for school, breakfast to be made, spaces to be tidied, and me trying to get dinner in the crock pot, makeup on, and so on. My youngest was trying to get herself a glass of milk and not quite mastering it, so I asked her older sister to help her. For some reason helping did not come easy for her that morning. She rolled her eyes, grabbed the cup, hastily poured the milk, and harshly put it down. This set off a grouchy reaction from the younger sister, which progressed into an argument between the two of them. Not cool.
I wish you could meet my friend Vanessa! She’s the perfect example of the gospel bound in tennis shoes. When she began attending our Bible study, she was a single mom to three teenagers and, believe me, she’d had her share of “makings and breakings.” Maybe that’s why she had that special something, a contagious happiness, sparkly eyes, and a quick laugh—especially about jokes on herself.
The very first person to reach the status of billionaire was business magnate John D. Rockefeller (1839–1937). He first became a millionaire when he was only 23, and he was a billionaire by the time he was 50. In fact, with a net worth estimated at $418 billion in today’s dollars, he is widely considered the wealthiest American of all time, and the richest person in modern history.
The other morning I read a passage from Acts, where Paul, in his farewell speech to the church of Ephesus, talked about living life generously and working hard to make sure to always have something to give to the poor, because it is more blessed to give than to receive.1 Little did I know that I was going to be tested on those very principles a few hours later.