Gumballs and Giving

“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24

I grew up as a preacher’s kid in a low-income neighborhood on the North side of Houston, Texas.  In our church, there were many very generous people.  One man in particular often brought our family groceries from his small grocery store when they expired and had to be taken off the store shelves, yet they were still perfectly fine to eat.  He brought ice cream, fine meats and candy—all the finest food treasures.

One day, this generous man brought my brother, sister and I our very own five-pound bag of multi-colored gumballs.  There was one bag for each of us.  The gumballs sparkled in the bag as though they were gold, and I treasured mine, counting them and sorting them by color.  In the midst of just such activity one afternoon, my older brother’s friend, Wiley, asked if he might have a gumball from my prized collection.  He was met with a quick retort of, “Jimmy has some.  Get some from Jimmy,” and I returned to counting and sorting my treasure.

I never forgot the shock and disbelief on the face of my brother’s friend because I had been so stingy, hoarding and greedy.  Sadly, God had to take more drastic measures to lovingly teach me this simple principle, and I’m glad He did.

What about you?  Have you learned to give freely from the storehouse of good things God has blessed you with?

Proverbs 11:24 says, “Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.”

Proverbs 21:26 tells us, “Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give!”

May we give freely out of the abundance God has given to us each and every day.

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