The Importance of Giving

Giving and receiving are opposite verbs, and we generally like receiving more than giving. When we receive something (time, gifts, words of affirmation, etc.) we feel good. Who doesn’t like to receive?

How difficult is it to give? A lot of times we put up excuses like, “I don’t have time to help you,” “I’ll do it later,” “Come back tomorrow.” We usually think twice before giving something. In this world we’re often worried about acquiring things and benefiting only ourselves or our families, and it’s rare for us to stop and see the needs of someone else--a neighbor, an elderly person, or a child who doesn’t have a dad or a mom.

This week God allowed me to be more aware of this in the interview and selection process for youth applying for academic scholarships. One of the questions we asked them was, “What would you invest the scholarship money in?” Most youth said they would put it toward their studies, school supplies, etc., but there was a young man who said, “I would buy a pair of shoes because right now I don’t have shoes to wear to school.” He looked down, and when he walked out I could see that he had on bath sandals.

Seeing him that way moved my heart as I remembered that his mom died in an accident and his dad abandoned them, and that he and his three brothers live with their grandma and all three of them put a lot of effort into their studies. I thought, “God, help me to see more like you, to see life like you do. Help me to be able to give more.” Jesus showed us the greatest example of giving and serving. How great would it be if we could all follow that example. We need to give a light of hope to youth who really need it—and not just material things. We must give the most important thing: sharing the love of God. We must give, even if it seems like very little, because for the person who receives it, it is immensely valuable.

If God blesses us, it’s so that we can bless someone else.

The Bible tells us in Acts 20:35 that it is better to give than to receive. However, lots of times we are presented with the opportunity to give and we let it go or simply ignore it because we think about our own interests before helping someone else. But if we knew the impact that we can produce in a person when we give to them, we might look for someone to bless in some way every day. The Bible says, “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.” (Proverbs 19:17).

So let’s give more—more advice, more hugs, more time, or whatever God puts on our hearts. God wants to use us to bless others!

We bought a pair of shoes for the young man, and he was accepted into the scholarship program. God is good!


Carmen Aquino - Youth Program Director