Many years ago I was helping the during the Red Cross Appeal. Our small church decided that we would help by manning several major intersections in our community to help raise the funds. I gained some interesting insights into people during this time.
Now while this wasn’t always the case, I found that the bigger and flashier the car the more creative people were to avoid you. They would, all of a sudden, be changing a radio/CD, or, turn their head away to feign looking at something more interesting, or, the real cold ones would stare straight ahead and just ignore you. Sometimes, if they didn’t wind the window up on you, they would shake their head and maybe say some unconvincing lame excuse like, “I gave at the office”.
Then along would come some beat up old car full of kids, or a disabled sticker, or some battler, and the window was wound down and they would drop in as many coins as they could.
Those who had the least gave the most…this was the majority of the time!
I walked away from that day with mixed emotions.
Now I know that we can’t afford to give to every good cause that confronts us and I definitely don’t like it personally when someone shakes a can rudely in my face…but I temper this with this thought:
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”— when you already have it with you.
The key here is when it is in your power to act. And that is what I learnt that day… I determined to apply that principle in my life.
As a principle, our generosity can be given, not just in terms of money, but in other things as well.
A bowl of sugar to a needy neighbour, maybe. A smile to some grumpy person serving you over the counter of a local store. Give way to a car pushing in front of you in a stream of traffic.
When you look around, there are many opportunities to be generous.
Will you withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act, today?