11:25 Generous persons will prosper;
those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
We’ve all seen stories (or maybe you are one of these stories) about people who have gone through some horrible tragedy or loss, and they start an amazing foundation or something that helps others in some way. I have two friends who lost their husbands to rare cancers and have done great work raising money for research and supporting others who are going through something similar. This is a generosity of spirit – they don’t want others to suffer as they have. They have felt deep grief, but they bring a kindness and a determination to their work. They also talk about how meeting people and working toward a cure gives them comfort and peace. Of course, they miss their spouses horribly, but they both feel that their spouses would be proud of what they are doing.
The scripture tells us that those who refresh others will be refreshed. Refresh means to give new strength or energy, to reinvigorate. We all think about money when we think about generosity and let’s be honest – sometimes it is just easier to give money to causes that we think are important, but does giving money help to reinvigorate us? We also need to think about those other ways we can help – connection, prayer, or physically assisting others by taking them places or doing a project for them. I know that being an online participant at MUMC is much better than not participating, but it is difficult to connect physically with the projects of the church from 5 hours away. I so appreciate the tech team and the church’s support of the online accessibility to services, but I felt like I could/should do something else. I had thought about writing devotions but did not volunteer. Joe asked me to do it, and I felt that God was nudging me ahead with it. It does refresh me to know that I am contributing something. It also helps me continue to work on my Bible study. Now, we shouldn’t do things to get something out of it, but we know that anytime we help another person we do get a boost from that – and that is what our Christian life should be about – helping others so that our faith is refreshed as well as the person we have helped. It is also about allowing others to help us when we need it so that they can experience that feeling as well. We can be generous in our receiving generosity from others as well – it is a back and forth – not one that keeps score because we know of the generosity of God, but more of helping each other so that everyone can experience God’s love.
by Janet Waryck
For Pondering & Prayer
As we enter a season of giving but also of busyness, what ways can we help others so that they and we are refreshed in the Lord? MUMC is a very generous church and always has a project that people can help with.
Prayer: Generous God, help us to see where you might need us to do a bit more than give money to a cause. We know money is needed, but along with that, show us how else you want us to give. Refresh us in you, in Jesus’ name. Amen