Give a Care
A devotional by Chaplain Paul Anderson
“He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack; but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.” –Proverbs 28:27 (KJV)
My wife and I have been married for 39 years. I thought that it was my responsibility to closely manage our money. She said I was a cheapskate and a skinflint. In retrospect, she was right.
As our finances and credit score improved, I relaxed a little. However, I did remain penurious. Even though I tithed and gave a liberal offering at church, I was not philanthropically oriented, until I had an experience that prompted me to pray for a giving spirit. God has grown me!
Here is an example of how God has helped me want to be more giving: One day, I was in my car. As I approached a corner, the light at the intersection turned red. I stopped. As I looked around, I noticed a lady walking up the line of cars. She was holding a sign with a message in English and Spanish. The sign said that she was a mother of two and was unemployed. The sign asked for donations. Had the light remained green, I may not have noticed her. But I did notice her, and our eyes met. In my penurious years, I might have averted my eyes and ignored her. But not that day! In that moment when our eyes connected, the verse above (Proverbs 28:27) reverberated in the core of my soul.
Immediately, I reached into my pocket, rolled down the window and gave her 25% of the cash that I had in my pocket. Her face radiated appreciation, affirmation and admiration. She said, “One day, I will give to others as you have given to me.”
Benevolence is a spiritual virtue. It is also the conduit of grace that insures the flow of blessings and grace. Benevolence (doing something good for someone else, just because), is an antidote for selfishness. Selfishness is really fruit from the tree of fear that you do not have enough.
According to Mark 14:7, we will always have poor people among us. The wise writer of Proverbs 28:27 shares a key that can unlock the divine storehouse where blessings are waiting to be dispensed. Kindness is like a catalyst for miraculous expansion of shared resources. Giving does not cause scarcity; being stingy does.
I am encouraging you to try an experiment today. Look for someone who needs some help and help them. Here are five reasons to do so:
Reason #1: Giving and helping are virtues that Jesus extolled and demonstrated.
Reason #2: Many people are in need through no fault of their own.
Reason #3: Poverty is not a sin. It is a circumstance.
Reason #4: Kindness and brotherly love are more valuable to God than worship.
Reason #5: Kindness suspends judgement and can be transformational in the life of the recipient.
Two years ago I had dinner with a multi-millionaire. I paid for the dinner. He told me a thumbnail sketch of his life story: He was an orphan in a country far from America. He, along with some other children were selling pencils on main street in a big city when a woman passed by him. She looked at him as she handed him some money. He stood up, thanked her, and extended a pencil. She declined to take the pencil and walked away. A few moments later, she came back and asked him where his parents were. He told her that he was an orphan. That day, she began the process of adopting him.
Today, he is a scientist. He has created and patented several world changing innovations. He is a brilliant and humble man. Yet, he says that had that woman not followed the prompting of God and shown kindness to him, he would likely not be who he has become. Now, he is wealthier than his original benefactor.
Make an investment in yourself by investing kindness in someone else. When it becomes a habit, goodness and mercy will follow you. Your humanity, caring eye contact, and gift may change one life and many others in turn. Please do not shirk an opportunity to care.
Let’s Pray: Dear God, as we move through this day that you have blessed us with, please help us to be blessings in the lives of other people. Give us opportunities to give, share and care about someone or several people. Guide us into divine appointments where our sacrifice of money, time, and interest will be meaningful and transformational for the persons we help and ourselves. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
Chaplain Anderson served for 20 years as a U.S. Navy Chaplain. Over 26 years of active duty, he was promoted through the ranks from Seaman Apprentice (E2) to his final rank as Commander (O5) in the Chaplain’s Corps.
Prior to his Naval career, Chaplain Anderson pastored in the Allegheny East and Potomac Conferences of Seventh-day Adventists. His undergraduate preparation for ministry was completed at Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md.
He has subsequently earned four graduate degrees: a Master of Divinity from Andrews University in Michigan, a Master of Education in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland and a Masters of Sacred Theology in Religion and Culture from Boston University. His Doctor of Ministry degree was conferred by Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.
Chaplain Anderson also completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He also holds certifications in Suicide Awareness and Prevention, Civil Mediation, Alternative Workplace Dispute Resolution, Temperament Analysis, Marriage Enrichment, Workforce Diversity, and is a certified Life Coach.
You may connect with Chaplain Anderson via email at this address, email@example.com.