Once there was a widow woman, she gave everything she had......which was 2 mites and she gave more than the rich men. How is this? It was because of how much she had left over after she had given. The rich men really didn't give all that much because they had MUCH left over. It didn't really affect their lifestyle, it didn't put them in a pinch, they had plenty left to spend on themselves. The widow woman didn't have anything left. She gave until it hurt.
Do WE ever give until it hurts? Do we ever give so much that it makes a difference in the way that we live? I am not talking about the tithe....I'm talking about what we give over and above what is definately expected of us. Things we do for others...things we give to others.
I read this quote the other day....Inviting somebody to eat leftovers is not the same as inviting them to the feast. It's easy to give away things we do not want. The things we have no use for. Like the bag of ties I gave to some man off of freecycle. It didn't cost me anything to give those away...nobody here wanted them.
I had a little boy in class one time tell me that he would share a whole truck full of candy. I asked him if he would share the candy if he just had two pieces. He had to think on that one for a minute and wasn't so quick to say he'd share it just the same. Adults are no different...we are just more 'cool' about our non-sharing spirit.
What a pitiful thing for me to only be able to think of ONE thing that I gave away that actually cost me something. It was a blanket. One of my sister-in-laws gave it to me many years ago. It wasn't really very pretty. It was a light tan with that silky stuff around the edges. BUT, it was WARM. I would wrap it around myself in bed and always be assured of a warm night. I don't know what it was made of, but it sure did the trick. We made a trip to Mexico one November and I left it with a family that had very little material items. They probably didn't even have a heater in their little house. If they did, the warm air would go right out the roof anyway. So, now when it gets cold in our house, I think about that blanket. I don't begrudge the people that have it now, I am just sorry for my small gift to just one family that actually cost me something. It so far, has been something that I haven't been able to replace. It's good for me though! Too bad I can't make a whole long list of things that I've done for others that has put ME in a pinch.
It snowed here in South Texas a few years ago on December 24th. The snow did NOT come from the North, it amusingly came from the South! This means the people that had my blanket were probably VERY cold. Much colder than I was. We have a heater, lots of other blankets, lots of coats, AND a roof.
God loveth a cheerful giver ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Let's make sure that we are not cheerful because we calculated just how much to give so we would not be uncomfortable 'after' the giving.
Just HOW much do we have left over?