pressed down and shaken together

I recently lent out a rather expensive item to a friend. While it was in my friend’s care, it was stolen and I am quite devestated. Not only was this item a gift from my mother, it is also something I cannot afford to replace at this time.

When my friend told me about the problem and offered to replace the item, I realized I don’t her to. It’s not her fault it was stolen and most of my attachment was in the sentimental value. But still, all my warm feelings of helping her by lending the item are now replaced with frustration and dissapointment. It’s like my generosity shot me in the foot.

Realizing how frustrated I was, I brought my hurt before God and asked Him how I should fix it. He showed me that the only way to gain back my peace is to completely let go of what was mine. I have to take my “generousity” to the next level and become a giver.

There is a difference between being a giver and a lender. A lender will give something of theirs with the hope of eventually being repaid. It’s a kind act when done in love, but a giver has no such hope of repayment. I must count the item as a gift to my friend -gone forever. Does it seem a bit unfair? Well, of course it is! But God isn’t fair. He gives freely.

“While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8

While all the pain of losing something I valued is not completely erased yet, I chose to give. And while it might make me sound generous, I’m actually doing it with the hope that I will see God give back to me. And when He does, I know it won’t be a meager, “as little as possible” portion, but an overflowing, “as much as can be packed in” gift. And I know this because He’s already done it before.

My sweet gift from God. :)

My sweet gift from God. 🙂

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” -Luke 6:38



So, lender or giver? Which will it be?

live to give.

team 5, VOICE 2009

I currently work as the associate youth director at a church in Hong Kong. I love being in ministry, including past and current involvement with Children’s Institute and VOICE. It’s meaningful work to invest in people whether it’s each week or in just one conversation.

Being in ministry though, also means you’re usually on the giving end of relationships. After all, that is the nature of your job – serving others. I have been taught me to have a “ministry mindset” which basically is to always be on the outlook for outreach. Initiate questions, find out about their interests, care about them.

Maybe even in some friendships, it feels like you are the one who does the listening, you know more about them, and are a part of their life more than they are a part of yours.

Giving is often very rewarding, but I’ve realized that you can’t expect or depend on those you serve (or your friends) to fulfill your needs. If your relationships are fueled only by what the other gives you in return, you may run out of energy to continue or have less to offer.

Well, God is not only real but very well-acquainted with you. In THAT relationship, you are the recipient – the receiver of His love and His understanding of you. Refreshed in the truth that God delights in you, you become fulfilled. Enough to keep giving when little comes back.

“I pray that you may…know this love [of Christ] that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19

“..for the Lord delights in you..” Isaiah 62:4

Remember your identity as His beloved! And with that confidence, take on a ministry mindset, whatever your job is.