Stewardship: A Way of Life

Stewardship: A Way of Life

Sharing:  Time Talent  Treasure

“IT IS BETTER TO GIVE THAN RECEIVE”

Most of us have heard this since before we can remember. It came from God we were sure. And we knew that the road to hell was straight and fast, if we did not adhere to this action. But when Mom made us share or even worse give up a toy to another, especially a sibling, we weren’t sure if we preferred the road instead. Giving when one feels “a gun to the head” is probably not in the true spirit of giving. But who knew.

Giving should be a joy and done with a free spirit. But what is not talked about very often is the ability to receive. Many find it difficult to receive even when it is needed and should be gratefully received. To receive one has to be humble and thankful without negativity. Jesus said “the poor you will always have with you.” And our proper response we have been taught is to give. What about the “poor’s” response? Do we think that they love to always receive and never have a thought to being a giver? Just giving and feeling good is what we should be doing and without public fan fare. But we must also be sensitive to the receiver’s situation. Giving when it is not convenient to us is good; giving when you have to sacrifice is good; giving when someone else needs it more than you do is good; giving to be recognized is not so good. No matter how small or big, receiving/accepting gratefully is your gift to the other. It is not always about the giver.

Life does not always make the give/receive situation clear. There was a young woman who married and then waited to hear the words that she longed for. “You are pregnant.” This did not happen as all around her, her friends were having babies. Years went by—difficult years. And then one day “You are pregnant.” No ache or pain was not a joy. Finally, delivery day arrived. She went through process and then into the birthing room where something went wrong and the baby died. Later her doctor arrived as she sat numbly in her bed.  And he said that he was sending her home, but she had more difficulties ahead. “For many months others have seen and shared your joy at your pregnancy. And now they will see you not pregnant. And they will joyfully ask, ‘what did you have’? And you will have to say that the baby died.  How do you think that all these people who shared your joy will feel? How uncomfortable and unprepared will they be or able to say the right thing upon receiving this news? Furthermore, you will expect to be contacted by many of your friends and they will never reach out to you. Instead others will be there for you. Ones that you might never have considered your close friends come to your aid. Do not judge. Some people can deal with death and others can not.” Giving or receiving abilities are unique to all. It is not ours to judge others actions. It is our job to do what we come to believe are actions that God would wish for us to do. Judging others because of our expectations for them is not ours to make.  Giving or receiving is part of everyone’s  life. Live each in joy and thankfulness.

by Kathy Reilly