Dec 16th, 2021
Home: The Living Room
By: Gary Black
1 minute read 

2 Corinthians 9:11 ...your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. (NIV)

“You can’t outgive God, Gary.” Those words came from an Elder at a church I led for 15 years. Whenever there was a financial need, Howard was first to help. He wasn’t a wealthy man, just a compassionate man who believed that as long as he was generous, he would always have more than he needed… and he did. 

Then there was Bethel, a never-married elementary school teacher, who retired after 35 years and lived in a little trailer in Orleans, Indiana. When I went off to college with $50 to my name, Bethel sent a check for one-half of my first semester’s tuition. I only learned the identity of my benefactor years later. Oh, did I mention that she sent the same amount to pay toward expenses for seven additional semesters? Always... “anonymous.”

And there was Mrs. Holsclaw who worked at the Ehrler’s Ice Cream Shop a half mile from my house. I’d ride my bike there most Saturday mornings. She was always kind and asked me what I’d been doing and what plans I had for the future. Years later, when I went to Bible College, she heard about it and sent me a handwritten note of encouragement with a five dollar bill inside. She repeated that every month until I graduated four years later. I knew she didn’t have much, and to this day, her kindness and generosity almost brings me to tears.

Scripture says, “God loves a cheerful giver”... like Howard, Bethel, or Mrs. Holsclaw. When Paul thanked the Philippians for “their partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,” he was talking about the financial gifts they’d sent his way. We’ll never know their names, but we do know their hearts.

Who comes to your mind when you think about people who are generous and kind? Who has blessed your life in the times you needed it most? If they’re still alive, send a note and say “thank you.” And add three more words, too: “I love you.”

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