A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
Written by: Nathan Smith
When I was young, I loved playing basketball. Every day that I was allowed to, I would go down to the park in our neighborhood and play ball until it got dark. There were always older kids and grown men there playing and without exception I would be surrounded by people taller and stronger than me. My saving grace was that I was fast, and I could dribble. But those skills didn’t matter when I was still getting blocked every time I tried to shoot. So, it wasn’t necessarily by choice that I learned a valuable lesson about the concept of giving out there on those courts.
I learned that I could contribute more to my team by finding an open teammate and passing them the ball. As I got older, I went from passing out of necessity to understanding how to control the game by always getting my teammates involved. I also learned that when people know that you’re a willing passer, they’re far more likely to pass the ball back to you when you’re in position to score instead of keeping it for themselves. Passing and sharing the ball becomes contagious and part of the culture of the team.
In contrast, I played with a guy in college who we called “the blackhole” because when the ball went to him it wasn’t coming back out. Eventually no one would pass him the ball unless he was wide open and we had no other choice. It sucked the life out of our team.
The amazing thing is life is very similar to basketball in that way. When we are unselfish, we begin to experience more of God’s blessing. The more we give, the more it becomes contagious to the people around us. The more we give, the more we experience contentment with the things we have. But when we are selfish, everything around us changes and just makes life not as fun. Whatever God is challenging you to give, my encouragement would be to try passing the ball and see what happens.
Prayer: God help me to be generous. Help me not to be someone that gives or serves out of a sense of duty. I pray that I can become the type of person that is constantly surrounded by a culture of giving and unselfishness. Help me be the type of person that others find refreshing and help me enrich the lives of the people You’ve put around me.