Our friends R and J are dear and special to us simply because we are friends. But some things I know about them make me want to be them.
Educated and intelligent, the Lord blessed them with bountiful financial resources. Because of that, they are eager to share. They paid all the expenses for a youth minister and his wife to go to the Pepperdine Lectures. They financed an impoverished young man’s Christian college education–even a car. They no doubt helped other people that I don’t even know about. And they don’t give only money–they devote much personal time to helping the needy around them.
Our friend B was uneducated, but intelligent and a hard worker with loads of creativity. He built up a successful business and then sold it to work full time in spreading the kingdom–at his own expense. He even sponsors a full-time missionary so that person doesn’t have to go around to various places asking for support.
Our friend D has been blessed to be successful in his job as well. I hear of his giving a few thousand here, a few thousand there, where there is need. Our church has been blessed by his generosity even though he is not a member there.
My friends J and M bought the house next door to them, a lovely home, as a retreat destination for missionaries needing rest and sustenance from the rigors of the mission field. They share it freely with anyone in need of rest and restoration. I want to do that.
As I think about these people, I think that we are very different financially, but we are not.
Here’s an example: Steve and I, with our children and grandchildren, are going on a six-week mission trip this summer. Our children are asking for financial help from friends and family. Steve and I are not.
But in this week’s mail came a very generous check from K and B who are on a fixed income. It’s for the family, and we are incredibly touched by their generosity.
I look around me and see so many people, both friends and strangers, who are in poorer circumstances than I am. I don’t have to give thousands to please God. I have far more than the widow who gave her mite, so I must look for opportunities to give generously and frequently. These friends would not want me to use their names, but I want to be them. I want to share my resources with those in need.
Has anyone ever surprised you with a generous financial gift?