Sunday, August 19, 2012

Giving’s Reward

…we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Acts 20:35
I was asked to share a story about our kids and when I prayed about it, this was the one that came to mind. It happened when we were still working in the south of the Philippines over a decade ago. May it bless and encourage you. =)

“Are you sharing your other lollipop?” is what I asked 7 year old Eric since he had two pieces and neither of his two brothers had any. We just finished our lunch and I wondered what our two sons would do with their treats. Eric said, “No, I’m not. It wouldn't be fair since one (brother) would get one (lollipop) while the other wouldn't.” I was a bit surprised with his answer but carried on, “What about you, Eli, are you sharing your candies?” He had three candies while 10 year old Evan had none and Eric had his two suckers. Almost 5 years old, Eli quickly responded with, “No, I wouldn't, because Eric would end up with way more than me!”

As their mother, I was befuddled. I thought I always taught them to share what they had but it obviously didn't work. I considered forcing them to share but I truly wanted them to do that out of their own volition. Not wanting to waste a teaching moment, I opted to tell them a story. I told them of the 4-5 year old Muslim kids that I taught in pre-school. My kids knew they were poor and didn't own much since they’d seen them and had been to the little nipa hut that housed our school. For a peso (a few cents worth), we served snacks to the students since several came to school hungry. The children didn't eat to their heart’s content. They usually were only given a snack packet of biscuits or a piece of bread with their drink. Yet more than once, I saw two of my students keep the rest of their snack after one bite. Concerned that they didn't like their snacks,I asked them why they didn't eat them. They said they wanted to bring it home and share it with their little siblings. My heart broke when I heard their reason. I hoped it would have the same effect on my sons regarding their sharing. I said nothing further to them.

Later, Eric asked me how many students I had. “Twenty”, I responded. He then gave me P20.00 and asked me to give each of my students a peso so they wouldn’t have to give up their food. They could just buy their siblings a snack. =) I was pleased. The next day, I did exactly what he told me to do and then I led my students in a prayer that God would bless Eric back for what he’d done for them.

Two days later, Eric was invited by our friends to go to the beach with them. I gave him P100.00 to pay for his expenses. When he came home that day, he excitedly told me that he had P200.00. “What?!? I told you to pay for your food! How come you have twice the money I gave you?” He explained that our friends paid for his expenses as their guest. And the last P100.00? He found it when he was digging in the sand.

That day, Eric saw first hand that when he gave to God (directly or through others), the Lord blessed him back ten times more than what he’d given. Try it. I'm sure you’d be as pleasantly surprised and shocked as he was. =) I'll be sharing more stories on giving in the weeks to come.

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