Isn’t it funny how the first thing that pops into your mind when someone mentions giving is money? I suppose it’s because society today seems to be focused in that direction. However, money is only a small portion of what giving really means.
Take time out of your busy schedule to cook a meal and deliver it to a sick friend. Too many times we disregard thoughts like this. If someone’s name comes to your mind at a random moment, stop and listen. God may be speaking to your heart that Jane Doe needs to be encouraged.
Be still and listen when someone wants to talk. They may need to vent about their discontent, hurts, or disappointments. Utilize this moment to offer words of wisdom and comfort. No one’s life is perfect, and everyone needs a listening ear at some point.
Step out of your comfort zone and compliment others. There’s nothing more encouraging to a young mother standing in line at the grocery store with a crying baby than for someone to offer kind words. What about the senior adult who looks frustrated or agitated. Engage in conversation with them and leave them with positive thoughts.
Help your elderly neighbor with carrying her groceries. Sit and visit a while. There are too many lonely people starving for fellowship.
Smile at everyone. It’s free and painless. For those of you who are introverts or shy, smiling doesn’t require words, and it leaves a lasting impression.
Surprise the person behind you in a drive-through by purchasing their meal or their beverage. Drive slow so you can watch their countenance transform when they find out someone cared enough to give freely.
I remember a time when I was grocery shopping, and I spotted a young mother with two small children. The older child held onto the grocery basket while the younger one rode in the seat. The thought rushed over me to give that mother the extra cash I had stashed in my wallet.
While I’d love to tell you what a saint I was in fulfilling that thought, I cannot. It didn’t happen. The next thought was “I might need it.” So, I turned and walked away. I cannot tell you how many times over the years that I have regretted not following my heart to bless that family. I learned a valuable lesson that day, and I’ll not walk away again.
Some giving does require money, but most often than not, it doesn’t. People want to be accepted, befriended, and loved. Stay alert to those around you. Open the door for others and be respectful. People notice your thoughtfulness whether they respond or not.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 NIV
What are other ways to give that doesn’t require money? I’d love to hear about your experiences.