‘Who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms.’ Acts 3:3 NKJV
Peter and John were willing to let the lame man at the temple gate interrupt their plans, and maybe make them late for ‘the hour of prayer’—which raises an important point. Is it possible to be so busy with religious activities that you don’t take time for people who are hurting? Selfishness is one of the easiest sins to commit, because when you’re busy, you’re unaware of committing it. Paul describes Jesus as ‘the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.’ (Galatians 2:20 NKJV) It seems counterintuitive, but Jesus taught that we’re more blessed when we give than when we receive. Giving fuels us; withholding drains us. Giving requires energy, and that’s not always easy, especially in stressful situations.
Motivational speaker Trudy Metzger, who had an abusive childhood, became a giver in adulthood. However, she still finds it difficult to maintain the mind-set of a giver when dealing with some of the people from her past. She admits to becoming defensive and trying to control the situation if she feels vulnerable. And when that happens, she goes from being a giver to being a taker. She writes: ‘While giving requires energy, I have to say that the situations where I become a taker leave me completely drained and “dead” inside. To be a giver brings life—like watering a plant so that it grows—but to be a taker is like sucking the water and the nutrients from the soil, leaving both the plant and the soil depleted and useless.’ Being a giver is a win-win. It helps others, plus it energises and fills you with joy.