By Rev Don Rivers
Giving of ourselves to others is not something that comes naturally; we have to work at it. Most of the time it is a difficult choice between taking care of ourselves and looking out for the needs of others. Giving is a decision we make. What have we decided to give? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The first step in the giving process is recognizing those who have given to us. We are not always aware of what is done on our behalf. We can get so focused on getting somewhere or accomplishing something that we forget that we cannot do it on our own.
Local and regional racing is one of the sports that depends on volunteers for a good part of the work that goes into getting a car ready to race. Everyone connected with racing knows what it is like to give up sleep to work on the car. We are all familiar with seeing the inside of the garage more than the inside of our living room. We willfully give of ourselves to go racing.
Thanksgiving gives us a time to reflect on that. Who are we thankful for? Go to them and let them know that their sacrifice for you was appreciated. How much sweeter is the victory when it is celebrated with those who have given so much?
Life is full of people who give of themselves for the benefit of others. We can forget that. I am certain that if we took a little time and gave it some thought we would come to the realization that there are many people around us that give generously. As we remember that, let it be a catalyst for us to be more giving.
Life is about give and take; the reality of life is it can seem that there are more takers than givers. Takers wear us out. I’ve heard some say; “There is only so much I can give.” Balance comes to mind, there is a need to balance the give and take in our lives. Spend some time to evaluate, do I give as much as I take? You might want to consider adjusting the balance. Giving is more rewarding and fulfilling than taking.
Taking always comes with a burden. It might not seem to bother some at the moment, but as the scale gets unbalanced the weight of taking too much shows up and we feel the burden. Maturity is about balance and learning how to give back is one of the most beneficial endeavors we can engage in.
Our attitude makes a difference. Giving because we have to doesn’t count. Remember when you were growing up and you were told to share? We didn’t want to share. We wanted everything for ourselves. Even if we couldn’t play with all our toys, we didn’t want anyone else playing with them either.
Luke 12:15-20; NLT; Then he (Jesus) said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”
Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’
Part of learning the most satisfying way to live is when we figure out sharing isn’t a bad thing, it is actually good for us. Enjoying what we have with those around us is a tremendous blessing. Not only for us but for them also. Some of your greatest memories are times spent with others, enjoying the fruits of your labors. I don’t know of too many celebrations and memories that took place alone. We have a desire built in us to share and we need to engage that. Life becomes better, more meaningful when shared.
We can fall into the trap of thinking we will not have what we need. We reason in our mind that we need to take care of ourselves first and then we can consider the needs of others. God promises in His Word that he will supply what we need. We first need to trust and believe God.
Matthew 6:31-33; NLT; “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
God encourages us to be generous and to plan and harvest with the spirit of giving. We should not only think of our own needs but the needs of others and how we can be a blessing to others by sharing what we have.
Philippians 2:3-4; NLT: Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
Jesus came and gave his life so that we could have life. He encourages us to trust that he will provide all that we need. He challenges us to test him on that and develop a life that gives to others as they have need, not holding back. When we refuse to give, we burden ourselves with a selfish spirit. That doesn’t lead to a satisfying and fulfilling life.
1 Corinthians 9;6-8:NLT; Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support and donations helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.