Givers Give!

I have made an observation based upon a study of the spiritual gifts and the related areas of the spiritual disciplines in the Bible. Simply stated: caring people care, teachers and preachers teach and preach, prayer "warriors" pray, the merciful show mercy, encouragers encourage, and so on down the list of possible categories for service. My conclusion in the matter is that you can identify a believer's spiritual gift mix and the spiritual disciplines that define development in the faith by observing the actions and outcomes of their life in Christ. 

When this is applied to giving and generosity, I can declare with sincerity that "givers have to give!" Recently, it was reported in the news that two individuals I do not know personally gave large monetary gifts away. It's what they do! Scott Kolbrenner donated all of his $145,000 winnings as a contestant on Wheel of Fortune to two local charities in Los Angeles. Verda Tetteh, a high school senior with a full ride scholarship to Harvard, was awarded an additional $40,000 scholarship at her graduation. She immediately returned it and stated that she wanted it to be given to a student who needed it more. Why are persons like these so generous? The short answer is, "Givers give!" We would say, "It's in their DNA!"

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I am surrounded by generous people. I can't tell you how many times my dad has fixed a problem on a customer's car in his shop and told the owner who asked him how much he owed, "You don't owe me anything! Drive it out! It won't give you any more trouble!" Generosity!

There is a beloved friend, retired now from years of owning her own business, who still has her "giving antenna" raised to identify those in need. I have often heard her ask individuals, "Do you need anything?" or I've seen her press a folded large denomination bill into someone's hand. Generosity! 

I am married to a giving person who is regularly on the lookout for those in need. She can't go eat in a restaurant without identifying some person or family that she wants to help. It is predictable that she will lean across our table and whisper, "I want to pay for his, her or their meal tonight."  Generosity! In every instance cited, these are individuals who believe and practice what Jesus promised when He declared, "It is more blessed to give than to receive!" (Acts 20:35).

Our identity, shape or divine design in Christ is evidenced in our verbal witness and action. Engagement is a valid way to assess faith. Our words are necessary in sharing faith with others. Peter reminds us of this, "If someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it." (1 Peter 3:15). But another gauge for the genuineness of a believer's faith is to watch them in action as they live out their lives in Christ. The Apostle John said, "Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions." (1 John 3:18, NLT).

I am familiar with the legal and accounting term, "billable hours!" I have been invoiced for in-person services as well as for short phone conversations. This seems to be the trend for many service providers today. I remember a different day and time when giving service without expecting compensation was a regular occurrence. I miss those days! In the economy of God, givers continue to give without keeping account of their hours of investment for Christ. Again, we may ask, "Why?" Givers have to give! It's what they do! May God bless them!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent. 
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com 

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