Do You Give?

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Don't Forget To Show Hospitality To Strangers For Some Who Have Done This Have Entertained Angels Without Realising It! ~ Hebrews 13:2

When we think about giving in a Christian perspective most people will usually think of the obvious ways like giving to charity or tithing but giving is so much more than that. While those are both good, and important, ways we can give in so many more ways than that. One of the cheapest (and possibly hardest in this day and age) ways to give is to give of our time. Time is so precious and yet costs nothing. It can be hard to give our time when our lives are so crammed full of the "must do"'s of the world like work or groceries, picking the kids up from school or socialising with friends. The thing is we can give our time through these things too. At work something as simple as evangelising to a colleague or taking a coffee to our boss can mean greater things to others. Buying a few more groceries and leaving them in a homeless shelter or with someone who has less than we do. Offering to pick up a neighbour's child at the same time as picking up our own or even sharing a glass of wine with a friend in need.
Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. ~ James 4:8
We also have to remember to give our time to God, which He loves and we grow from. Spending time in prayer and worship will revive us and feed our souls. Sometimes it can be hard to find the time or space to sit down with God but it's oh so important. Even getting up 10 minutes earlier in the morning to bless the day or putting on a worship CD while we drive can lift our spirits and bring us back "home" to where we belong. We have to remember to give as He gave, come close to the Father as Jesus did.
When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. ~ Matthew 6:2
It can be easy to give when all eyes are on us, watching us and giving us praise for what we have done or given. Giving out of sight is harder. It is human nature to love being praised although we are told very clearly in the scriptures not to give like this. Jesus doesn't ask us to give but tells us "WHEN" we give not "IF" we feel like it or "if" we want to or "if" we have it to spare. It can be easy to give when it's right in front of us, or to someone we love. It can be easy to spend time with our friends but what about spending time with the guy or girl you see who is homeless and ignored by every passer-by. It can be easy to give what we have to spare but what about giving up something we love to give to someone else, the single mama who would love a manicure but doesn't have the funds or sitter to watch her child. Even something as close-by as the background work in your local church or charity shop and giving up our time to do it can be a struggle for most of us.
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.” ~ 2nd Corinthians 9:7
Don't get me wrong, I, like anyone find it hard to give. Especially giving up time doing things I love to help someone else. One of the reasons I started this blog is because I enjoy time online but looking at Pinterest or playing games on Facebook isn't spending time with the Lord and by blogging and reading the Scripture I am talking about is helping me grow spiritually and remind me how to be more like Him. We are reminded not to give grudgingly, to give freely of ourselves and do so "cheerfully". I pray that all of us are able to give cheerfully and that we strive to become better at giving, in all aspects. If you, too, struggle with giving remember to add this to our daily prayers, to ask God to help us give better and more easily and that it becomes second nature to us.

Remember, we never know who we are giving to, they may be angels in disguise. That shouldn't be our reason for giving, just a gentle nudge in the right direction.

God Bless,
Effie

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