Giving

(Originally written, December 1991)

I remember so clearly last year, finally having a chance to shop. It was less than seven days before Christmas and I hadn’t even started; plus, I had to get both an anniversary and birthday gifts for my wife in addition to Christmas gifts. I eventually succeeded in getting the right things, but the pressure nearly got to me. This year I started in November!

As I write this letter, it’s Thanksgiving weekend and the newspaper, radio, and T.V. ads are going full force to try to break us consumers out of our economic slump. What is giving really all about? Is there somewhere that we could get a little more objective view? I pushed a few buttons on my computer and found 1376 references in the Bible for “give, giving, or gave”. What a different outlook! I realize that God, our parents, or others have given to us most of the things we consider valuable in life. Most of us did not choose the land in which we live, this great “free” country. Among other things many of us have been given by God water, food, rest, hope, a future, peace, wisdom, insight, and guidelines for living. Some have been given a long life, successes, victories, and even undeserved riches and honor.

Your parents gave you life, your teachers gave you an education, and a family member or friend gave you love, acceptance, and encouragement. Your children gave you joy and significance. What do you have that is of real value that you earned? Most true treasures of life are given to us by others.

My Dad taught me early to save 10% of all that I earned, and to give 10% to God’s work. God did not need my pennies then and does not need my dollars now. I needed to know who owns it all. One rainy Saturday night in early December many years ago, I sat in my study writing out checks to various mission and charity organizations. Suddenly, I realized that it was more fun to give money to others than to spend it on myself.

Just living in this country, most of us are considered wealthy in the world’s eyes. So, as we face this holiday season, we all need to learn to give generously, freely, cheerfully, and at times, secretly. We must learn to give of ourselves first, realizing that taking our focus off ourselves and onto others gives us joy. This year may we all learn the real meaning of giving “as we are able,” not just to our close family and friends but to many others in need.

In conclusion, pause to consider the most important gift ever given – “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

May we all learn to Give,

Kent

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About kenthumphreys
Kent Humphreys has been a business leader for over forty years. He also served as CEO of FCCI/Christ@Work for six years and now serves as their worldwide ambassador, speaking, writing, and mentoring young leaders. He continues to be active in distribution, private equities, and real estate. Kent and his wife Davidene have written six books together. They have three children and eight grand-children.

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