Blessed to Bless
I love getting gift cards.
Every so often people will get me gift cards as thank-you’s, birthdays or Christmas, and they are awesome gifts for me! The funny thing is: I normally don’t use these gift cards on myself. I’ll get a Subway card and my first thought will often be, “Sweet now I can take a student out to lunch”. Or I’ll get a Dunkin Donuts gift card and it will allow me to buy coffee for an event at the Barn. Gift cards are awesome because they give me more drive to bless others rather than spend on myself because they narrow my focus on what I can use them for.
I have noticed, however, that not everyone thinks I’m being fair to myself for using them on others. This is something I just don’t understand. I’ll tell them, “Thanks for the gift card I was able to buy coffee for the Barn with it.” Then they will do a double take, look back at me, and say, “Wait you didn’t spend it on yourself?!”
I think many of us, including myself, have adopted this mentality when it comes to gifts and blessings. We think, “Oh this was a gift I’ll spend it on myself.” We spend most of our lives thinking this way, but something that I’ve been learning over the years is that I have been blessed that I might bless others. The things I’ve been given: my paycheck, my gifts, my time, etc… are not meant for me. Granted there are times when I should spend on myself to provide for myself, and there are times when I need rest and enjoyment, but for the most part, I’ve learned that the more I give the more God takes care of me. He doesn’t make me rich, but he provides for me, and he teaches me contentment.I’ve noticed that when I give my focus is renewed and I remember what God has put me here for. It is as if I am refreshed and can see clearly what God desires of me.
Giving to others isn’t always easy. Sometimes its on of the hardest things to do, and I still have a lot to work on. My hope, however, is that I will continue this act of giving. That as I live life I would learn to live for others over myself. Not that I might be blessed in the end, but that others might be. Not that I would get anything out of it, but that others would see Jesus in all I do. This is my aim. I may fall short at times, but I long to always pick myself back up and continue striving toward this.