Bob Tamasy: Receiving Through Giving

Monday, April 07, 2014 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

There’s not one of us that doesn’t like getting things. Christmas morning, waking up and going to see what’s in that brightly colored box with our name on it under the tree. On our birthday, getting gifts from friends and loved ones – just because we’ve aged a year. A surprise gift when there’s no special reason. Even people that don’t need anything like to receive things – Oprah; rich entertainers at annual awards shows, the President.

And our society teaches one of the secrets to happiness and security is accumulating stuff. We even spend money on insurance to make sure we don’t lose it – or at least are able to replace it. Years ago someone summed it up with this slogan: “He who dies with the most toys wins.” 

So if the presumed key is to get things and hang onto them with all of our might, what’s with the biblical adage even people who’ve never read the Bible can repeat: “It is more blessed to give than receive”?

Yes, unlike “God helps those that help themselves” – which is found nowhere in the Scriptures – this admonition about giving actually is there. As the apostle Paul declared, In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive' " (Acts 20:35). 

This, as I noted several posts back, is another of the seeming paradoxes of biblical faith. In our materialistic culture, it might even be the greatest paradox of all. How can we gain if we choose to give away? How can you increase when you’re busy decreasing what you possess? But this principle is there, just the same. And it’s frequently reaffirmed.

Speaking to a large crowd of people gathered around Him, Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Luke 6:38). 

He was saying then – and still says today – if we give, freely and generously from the heart, we’ll not lack for anything. God will more than supply what we need. There’s one caveat: Our giving should be without reservation.

“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:7-8). 

But it’s more than being assured if we give to help others in whatever way we’re impressed to do so, we’ll not be left destitute ourselves. There’s the intangible joy and fulfillment we receive in being used as an instrument for assisting others in need.

I’ve experienced this not only in giving money and goods, but in investing time and energy in mentoring others, helping them to grow professionally, personally and spiritually, and being a resource for them as they work through various problems and issues in their lives. Volunteering in other ways can provide the same sense of gratification. 

In fact, this giving of ourselves is probably the greatest of all forms of giving. We might not all have the same incomes, bank accounts or portfolios, but we all have just 24 hours a day, seven days a week. How we use that time is a strong indicator of whether we’re self-focused or others-oriented.

The same holds true for God, the greatest giver of all. John 3:16, which most of us are at least somewhat familiar with, states, “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.” That is the consummate definition of giving.

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Revival Meetings With Dr. Bill Edmonds To Be Held At Cassandra Baptist

Cassandra Baptist Church will be hosting an old time revival meeting each evening at 7 p.m. from Sunday to Wednesday.  The revival kicks off on Sunday morning at 11 a.m. and is followed by a covered casserole dinner at the church.  Evangelist, Dr. Bill Edmonds, will be the preacher.  Dr. Edmond’s ministry spans 58 years in radio, television, prison ministry as well ... (click for more)

Before I Die Wall

This Sunday, St Marks Church - Northshore is joining the world wide movement, Before I Die. The wall installation is preceded by a service of sacred and secular music highlighting this theme. Following the service, the community wall is unveiled.    The wall will be on site at the corner of Mississippi Avenue and Liberty until winter for the neighborhood and ... (click for more)

Boy, 16, To Face Murder Charges In Criminal Court On Triple Lookout Valley Slayings

A Lookout Valley youth who was 15 at the time of his alleged involvement in a massacre in the valley will stand trial as an adult. Jacob Allison, who is now 16, was taken by the sheriff's office to the Hamilton County Jail after a transfer hearing in Juvenile Court on Friday morning. Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw said under state law he has jurisdiction over rehabilitation ... (click for more)

Justin Wilkins Selected As Deputy Chief Of Staff For Mayor Berke

Native Chattanoogan Justin Wilkins will serve as Mayor Andy Berke's deputy chief of staff, it was announced Friday. Mr. Wilkins has spent the last several years serving as the Tennessee state director for multiple advocacy and electoral organizations, including Organizing for America and Organizing for Action. Prior to that, he worked as project manager at Profit Plans LLC ... (click for more)

Black Creek TIF Decision-Who Guards The Hen House? - And Response

Citizens of Chattanooga were invited to give public comment before their own Industrial Development Board Aug. 15. They arrived to find foxes guarding their hen house.  Many thought the meeting was their opportunity to seek redress in the ill-conceived Black Creek Tax Increment Financing plan. However, they learned it was a sham orchestrated by both the past and present ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Let’s ‘Pay It Forward’

At 7 a.m. on Wednesday morning, this at a Starbucks coffee store located at 2186 Tyrone Blvd. in St. Petersburg, Fla.,  an unidentified woman who was first in line at the drive-through window, politely told the drive-through window clerk she would like to “pay it forward.” The clerk checked the next order – it was a caramel macchiato – and the first customer paid for both her ... (click for more)