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25. The Parallel of Giving

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[Doodle by Tara at Doodle Through the Bible; This devotion and doodles are our Christmas gift to you and we pray God bless you richly.]

Christmas is known as the season of giving. On the counterpart, if someone gives, someone receives. When someone helps, we may hear, “Your help is appreciated more than you know.” On the counterpart, we may hear, “I was so blessed to be able to help.” When someone falls, lend a helping hand. On the counterpart, when someone lends you a helping hand, reach for it.

There is a saying, “There are always two sides to a coin.” This is a devotion of that parallel of giving. For many years, our elderly widowed neighbor was a very independent lady. I was impressed at the yard work and other tasks she would tackle. Still yet, there were tasks just beyond her physical means. As a mother, it was an ideal situation to teach my sons about lending a helping hand. Our family helped her often. She would offer to pay, but I always rejected the money. I wanted to teach my sons to do kindness without expecting anything in return. 

In every single instance, she would deploy a covert way to pay us back. She would watch until she saw one of my sons outside, call them over, and hand them ice cream. She would put cans of green beans in his hand indicating “your mom asked for these,” with money taped to the bottom. She would give him a plastic container of homemade cookies and tucked inside would be money.  There were times when she would even trick me!  Once in our house, there was no way of refusing the payment.

Talk about stealing joy! It was such a blessing for me to be able to help, but her insistence on paying for our help took away the joy of helping. It was through this experience that I learned an understanding for the parallel of giving. The saying is, “it is more joyful to give than to receive.” This is a good motto for encouraging a giving attitude, but we should also have a warm receiving attitude. I admit it, I am not a very good receiver.

God did not create us to be alone on this rough road of life. “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10. God created us to assist each other, encourage each other, and warm each other’s hearts.

What if both fall at the same time? Who lifts them up then? How many people are on this earth? How many in your city? How many in your neighborhood? If all that fails, “The Lord sustains all who fall and raises up all who are bowed down.” Psalm 145:14.

Copyright Cheryl Rutledge-Brennecke
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