Sampson Independent

Are you freely giving your best?

Are you a giver? Generous givers get God’s attention. A loving, firm foundation is necessary for growth as we give God our best. What are the best things we can give? One of my favorite keepsakes that belonged to my mother sits on my windowsill and shares a devotion for each day of the year. Flipping it to a new day prompts flashbacks of seeing my mother do the same thing each morning as she prepared breakfast. Her routine included sharing the thought for the day with lessons on the power of giving to others as she sent us on our way. Mother’s words ring sweetly in my ears as I type the message from her devotion for today.

“Best things to give. To your friend – loyalty: To your enemy – forgiveness; To your boss – service; To a child – a good example; To your parents – gratitude and devotion – To your wedded mate – love and faithfulness; To all men – charity; To God – your life.”

Typing the list of eight best things we can give gave a good case of goosebumps that left me wondering what ending God would want for this story. Typing and deleting more than ten first sentences that did not seem right to begin this paragraph sent me to a waiting place where Dr. Suess warned one could become lost. With deadline approaching for my story to be submitted, time was running out to be stuck in the waiting place. So, I reread the list (most of us have in our lives) and what my mother’s devotion (and the Bible) advises giving them. Slowly, I said their names… friend – enemy – boss – child – parents – wedded mate – all men (people) – and God! And I wept!

Tears of joy and sorrow wet my keyboard. Conviction gripped my heart. Memories of friends who color my world with love, thoughts of enemies I don’t even know -stuck in places where pride keeps them captive, pop ups of bosses: eleven principals, two Avon managers, one Sears supervisor, one college librarian, three farmers who taught me to barn tobacco, my parents who brought me up in the way I should go – doing what was needed in our home, at our country store, and in the yards to keep things going – attending church and praying together to make sure we stayed close to one another and the Lord, children – so many precious children God has sent for me to teach, love, and look after throughout my lifetime, sweet memories of two good husbands who loved me tender – loved me true… as I did them, snapshots of people needing help and hope throughout our land, and greatest of all God.

God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost – Creator and Caregiver – Savior and Best Friend who loves each of us with agape love beyond understanding, who has prepared a place for us to go and spend eternity when our work here is done, who loves generous givers with right attitudes, who longs for a close relationship with all His children – including me and you, who sees our sinful world leaving Him out and giving leftovers instead of our best…and surely He weeps too!

I encourage you to take time to repeat each of the people listed in the message from my mother’s devotion that stirred this story. What are you giving to them? And what are you giving to Him?

When we give our life to the Lord, ask Jesus to live in our hearts, lovingly trust and obey, live by His example every day, and trust the Holy Spirit to guide us in the right way…we will be givers who get God’s attention!

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By Becky Spell Vann

Contributing columnist

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift Ministry.