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“IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE”

“It is more blessed to give than to receive”. (Acts 20:35).  Christians know that verse by heart.  But, much like the world in which we live, we too often are found working to “receive” more than working to be able to give.  The minute you read that, some of you bristled.  Your thought was, “That is not true.  I work so that I can give to my wife and family, my church, school, and government in taxes.”.  I don’t argue that one bit.  A working couple today are stretched thin to provide all that is required to feed, clothe, transport, and educate a child.  The joy of most parents is that they can do that for their children.  And, most spouses delight when they can help to provide for each other through daily tasks that are done automatically because they are demonstrating “love in work clothes” by serving and meeting each other’s areas of need.

But, if we are not careful, our work can become drudgery and the motive of providing for family out of joy becomes a stern “sentence” of working for 20 years to get that child in position to make it on their own in life.  When that occurs, the “blessedness” of giving can be lost in the demands of a career’s expectations.  And, the older we get, the more requests come our way for giving over and above what we already give to care for hose we love.  Be careful lest you forget that giving is the gateway to living with a sense of purpose, accomplishment, love, and fulfillment.

The very first person to reach the status of billionaire was a man who knew how to set goals and follow through. At the age of 23, he had become a millionaire, by the age of 50 a billionaire. Every decision, attitude, and relationship was tailored to create his personal power and wealth. But three years later at the age of 53 he became ill.  His entire body became racked with pain and he lost all the hair on his head. In complete agony, the world’s only billionaire could buy anything he wanted, but he could only digest milk and crackers.

 An associate wrote, “He could not sleep, would not smile and nothing in life meant anything to him.” His personal, highly skilled physicians predicted he would die within a year.  That year passed agonizingly slow. As he approached death he awoke one morning with the vague remembrances of a dream. He could barely recall the dream but knew it had something to do with not being able to take any of his successes with him into the next world. The man who could control the business world suddenly realized he was not in in control of his own life. He was left with a choice. 

 He called his attorneys, accountants, and managers and announced that he wanted to channel his assets to hospitals, research, and mission work. On that day John D. Rockefeller established his foundation. This new direction eventually led to the discovery of penicillin, cures for current strains of malaria, tuberculosis and diphtheria. The list of discoveries resulting from his choice is enormous.  But perhaps the most amazing part of Rockefeller’s story is that the moment he began to give back a portion of all that he had earned, his body’s chemistry was altered so significantly that he got better. It looked as if he would die at 53 but he lived to be 98.  Rockefeller learned gratitude and gave back from his wealth. Doing so made him whole. It is one thing to be healed it is another to be made whole.   (Copied).