GIVE IT AWAY.
The phone range late one night after the man, his wife, and their three small children had already gone to bed. The man rolled over, stretched an arm out of the tangle of sheets, snatched the phone receiver out of the cradle, and said a groggy hello.
It was an old friend calling from several time zones away. "I'm sorry for calling so late, old buddy, but I just had to give you something."
"Give me something?" The man lifted himself up on his elbows and sat back against the headboard of his bed. His wife sat up and turned on the light.
"Yes!" the caller explained. "Back when I was in college, I promised myself and God, I guess that I would give something away every single day of my life."
The man in the bed was awake now. "You what?"
"It's not always a big deal," the caller said. "Sometimes I give a quarter to a kid who lost his money in a candy machine, or I give a book I've enjoyed to someone I think will like it. But for the past fifteen years, I don't think I've missed a single day."
"You've given something away every day for the last fifteen years?"
"Yup! But I haven't given anything away yet today, so I thought I'd call you."
"What are you going to give me over the phone?"
"Well, old buddy, it may not be much, but it's something." The caller then read a short poem, explaining the godly influence his distant friend had had on him. When he stopped reading, silence hung between the two men.
"Thanks," his friend finally answered. His voice quivered with emotion. "That's the best gift I've been given in a long time."
Imagine giving something away every day for fifteen years! That's pretty cool, isn't it? You know what's even more amazing? That story is true.
When you hear about such people, does that kind of generosity fill you with respect and admiration? Of course it does, because you know, deep within your heart, that generosity is good. You're naturally drawn to people who are generous and repelled by people who are stingy or greedy.
It may not be easy to be generous, of course. It's part of our sinful nature to want to hang on to what we have. That tendency can be tough to overcome. But though it may not always be easy, it is good to be generous, especially to those in need.
REFLECT: If you were charged with the "crime" of being generous, would there be enough evidence to convict you? How can you add to the evidence?
ACT: Give something away today. You could give away a smile, a pat on the back, a helping hand, etc.
PRAY: "God, I know someone who needs...
Show me what I can share."