In the movies, people who go back in time are often worried about making a small change that will impact the future. But they never seem to realize making a small change in the present can do the same thing.
The generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
Proverbs 11:25 (NIV)
This isn’t a new idea, of course. Paying it forward has been around for awhile. We just need more of it.
From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another.
In my little hometown, there’s a Blessing Box. It’s an old soda cooler repurposed by a kind family and filled with non-perishable food. People take what they need and leave what they can. The box has only been active for a few months, but it looks like items are both coming and going.
Whoever came up with this idea is an angel! A barrier to giving and receiving has been broken down, because those using the box can remain relatively anonymous–its, quite simply, take it and/or leave it.
A friend from South Korea once remarked that people in the West find it easier to show kindness than to receive it. Do you agree?
Frankly, I see her point, it’s harder for me to receive than to give. However, the early Christians in the book of Acts were comfortable with both.
All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone who had need.
The passage above doesn’t mention in detail how the receivers responded to the gifts, but it appears both give AND take were welcomed.
Interdependent generosity still exists among Christians today.
My brother and sister-in-law live on eleven acres at the edge of a local city. Full Quiver Farms (they have seven children) is always abuzz with back and forth blessings.
The Boy Scouts need a place to store a massive trailer filled with canoes? Not a problem. “Park it in the back,” says my older brother. A friend’s mom was flooded out by a hurricane for the second time? “She can stay with us as long as she likes,” says my sister-in-law.
But the gate also swings the other way. When my brother’s family needs something (maybe a pickup truck and trailer) they reach out to their ‘blessing buddies’ and borrow it. Back and forth it goes, and it’s been happening for years!
Christians can be Blessing Boxes with skin on!
Take what you need. Leave what you can. But, above all, be blessed.
By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.