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“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.” Proverbs 11:24 (ESV)
Sometimes we think this concept means we should go out and do great and noble things for God, like traveling to Cambodia to feed children and spread the gospel, or going to a foreign country to help clean up earthquake aftermath.
And sometimes it does.
But it also means we are to “scatter” seeds right where we are in our day to day life. (The original King James version says, “There is one who scatters, yet increases more”.)
We are here to serve.
I find I need constant reminding of this truth.
It’s easy to be selfish with plans and time. Frequently we do this without even realizing it.
But God wants us to be ever looking out for others, seeking opportunities to do His will.
We only have a little while to scatter on this earth.
Once while traveling with my husband on a business trip, I visited a beauty salon. I’d been thinking about the concept of sharing my faith with the average person with whom I came in contact.
I’m not one to purposefully interact with people while at the grocery store or the waiting room at the doctor’s office, or any type of errand.
Usually I just like to keep to myself, peruse Facebook, or play games on my phone. I like my personal space. I’m selfish like that.
But on this day I decided to strike up a conversation with my beautician – her name was Bea.
We talked of general things and family. Somehow I brought up the subject of Bible reading, and she said:
You know, my husband used to read the Bible all the time. I never understood what he was reading – he was a college professor and he had a lot of books I didn’t understand. After he died, I picked up his Bible and tried to read, but it just didn’t make any sense to me. I want to, but I just don’t understand it.
Here was a chance for me to present the gospel of how Christ came to earth, died for our sins, and rose again.
She said she knew and believed, had accepted Christ as her Savior, and wanted to learn more.
I suggested she buy The Message version of the Bible. It is written in plain, common, every day language that anyone can understand.
She repeated it over and over, and then had me write it down on her business card so she could go to the bookstore and get a copy.
I don’t know if Bea ever did get her copy of “The Message“, but I know that I did the right thing that day. I also know that I need to do more of that every day.
Bloom where I’m planted.
There are so many ways to do this. We can give a smile, a word of praise or encouragement, a compliment. We can take the time to share a cup of coffee and bear another’s burden.
We can volunteer to help those we live with. Hey, that’s a novel idea, huh?
When my husband readies for a business trip, he’ll direct my attention to his closet to help match his suits and ties.
Do you know sometimes I get annoyed that I have to stop what I’m doing and help him? And I do believe it says somewhere in the Bible that the wife is to be the husband’s helpmeet.
It’s my job. And yet, I’m selfish.
John Ortberg speaks in his book, All the Places to Go of serving God in the mundane, day-in, day-out circumstances. He tells a wonderful story of a lady who drove a public transportation bus.
Her name is Linda, and she decided to be a blessing to people through her job.
She loves the people who ride her bus. She knows the regulars. She learns their names. She will wait for them if they’re late and then make up the time later on her route. When she gets to the end of her line she says, ‘That’s all, I love you. Take care.”
She helped an elderly lady load her bags onto the bus one day. Now that lady won’t ride any other bus but Linda’s.
A reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle rides Linda’s bus every day. He wrote about her ministry.
Linda has built such a little community of blessing on that bus that passengers offer Linda the use of their vacation homes. They bring her potted plants and floral bouquets. When people found out she likes to wear scarves to accessorize her uniforms, they started giving them as presents to Linda.
This is a woman who practices giving freely. She scatters seeds of love – all in a day’s work, and she is rich because of it!
I have a friend who is a nail technician.
She plays Christian music in her studio, creating an atmosphere of warmth and welcome. She always has a smile and inquires on the welfare of her customers.
But what Marsha does best is spiritually connect and encourage each person while she creates her artistry.
I have many friends who visit Marsha.
She has a prayer ministry that inspires and encourages others to share with her and in turn invest more in their own prayer lives.
I know this because I’ve visited Marsha a time or two myself. It’s pretty much like a praise and worship service every time I go.
And all because she gives freely of herself.
Helen Keller once said, “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.”
So give that cup of water to a little child.
Take the time to read him a book or play a game. Bake some brownies and visit the old lady across the street.
Put down your iPhone and listen to your husband when he talks.
Give your mom a call.
Ask the Walmart cashier how she’s doing and let her know you’ll pray for her.
Buy a cup of coffee for the person in line behind you.
Wherever you are, be all there.
I’m preaching to myself, sister – I’m journaling out loud.
The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. (Again, Helen Keller.)
Do you see what is right in front of you? More importantly, do you see who is right in front of you?
Look to the person right in front of you and seek ways to minister to him or her. Click To Tweet
Scatter freely this week, my friends. And I will scatter too.
“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.“