Have you ever had an experience so profound that you felt like God Himself reached down and spoke in a way that felt audible? It’s a force outside yourself, pushing you completely out of your comfort zone. But, in the moment you’re at ease about it. In fact it makes you giddy!
Recently, I was at a store listening to a couple ladies talk over the checkout. I learned a lot about the life struggles of the lady checking out. And about the checker who was currently trying to get through school and help her parents raise her other siblings. I also learned about their aspirations for helping others. Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing jaw dropping or awe striking.
As I was standing there, listening, God spoke to me. Not audibly, but it may as well have been. In a world full of noise and distractions it is hard to hear much of anything. But this night, I was listening. Listening to these ladies. To the world around me. To the prompting of my spirit to hug this complete stranger! So I did! I hugged her! Can you believe that? And then, as if someone had taken over my words, I whispered in her ear. Would you be insulted if I bought your groceries?
She cried, held me and said “Praise Jesus”.
“I don’t want to insult you or make a scene,” I said, “but you look like you could use a break tonight.”
The dollar amount is not the point here. In fact, my involvement in this story at all is not the point. However, because this happened to me, I felt like I needed to share it.
There is one thing about the dollar amount that is important to point out. Later that evening, I received an email for an invoice of nearly the exact amount I had paid for those groceries.
“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back”
- Luke 6:38
We do not give so that we can receive, but when we give, God sees He can trust us and gives us more to give! It was no accident that the invoice payment was paid nearly at the same time, with the same amount, that I had just given to help this lady with her groceries. I felt like it was God telling me “Thank you for listening, now keep giving.”
Please don’t think I am telling this story to gain praise about my ability to hear God or to give to people in need. I almost didn't share the story at all because my last intention is to glorify myself. The reason I decided to share this is because it really shook me up! My eyes have been opened to a bigger picture.
The feeling of giving.
The joy of giving.
The reward of giving.
There is something much bigger going on and I have to be a part of it! I am hooked! I am seeing people getting genuinely shocked, amazed, blessed, and best of all - loved.
Not everyone believes as I do about God, heaven, or the Bible. And that is ok! But, there is no denying the universal truth of the joy you can experience by giving. As a society of people giving with abandon, we can make a monumental impact without an agenda.
Money is not always the tool. It could be time spent with a child in need of a mentor, or clothes to a family who has suffered a house fire. Maybe it’s smiling at people as you drive by. Letting people go ahead of you in the checkout line.
Making room for kindness again.
Spreading love and generosity through acts of giving.
I challenge you today to Give the Lifestyle! Share with us your stories of opportunities to give in extraordinary ways. Tell us about a time when you were either on the receiving end of this kind of compassion or about a bold time when you were prompted to give! This is not an ego stroking campaign. This is a chance to share with people how listening to the world around you can impact and change our world that is so greatly needed.
Share on Twitter or Facebook with #givethelifestyle or send me an email to email@example.com. By emailing me your story, you are giving me permission to share it with the world! Don’t be afraid. Trust me, telling my story now is making me feel pretty vulnerable. But, we cannot keep silent about it.
We need to spread the message of giving! GIVE the Lifestyle!