Having grown up as an only child with a very giving mother, there became a contradiction in my life. To take, as a somewhat selfish only child often does, or to give, as my mom was always an enormous giver to others. The outcome took many years to swing in the giving direction, and even then there is giving, as in giving to others, and there is giving as in giving of yourself to another.
I have been fortunate enough to see both and it has finally rubbed off on me. At least the first one has. This week there have been so many situations where people have been selfless in helping or just plain incredible in their giving, and when that happens it just propels me to another level of wanting to give to others.
There is of course always the giving nature of Christ, who gave the ultimate gift, and the fact that he humbled himself as a servant to many who did not deserve to be served. Then there are those exceptional human beings (you know who you are) who act like Christ, give like Christ and just seem Christ like in everything they do. Because we can touch and feel them, because they impact us at just the right time, they become a walking Bible to us.
Then, there are those men and women who give of themselves so unbelievably well in marriage despite the trials and tribulations that it brings, they are so unique because they are becoming less and less. But they usually have learned to master both ways of giving and understand something I heard a preacher say the other day, "Marriage is God's way of showing us how to be unselfish."
My wish would be that I had mastered that one, but it is still a work in progress for me. But I can sit back and hear the stories, the adoration of spouse to spouse, see the tough, grinding love that has weathered every crisis and just look on with tremendous admiration at those couples with 30, 40 and 50 years or more together and say, now that is a giver of the highest degree, that is Christ in the flesh present in their lives.
But my lack in one area will not stop the other from growing, in fact it may be the thorn in my side that allows me to accept the grace and mercy of the Lord, and my hopes are that you too, if this is something you struggle with, will feel the same for you, that His grace is sufficient in what we lack.
Happy New Year!
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Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.