Sunday, June 26, 2011

Invest, Improve, Increase

Third of a series of three posts.  Warning!! Before you read this post, it is absolutely essential that you read the previous posts from May 19 and June 4.

Here are some final thoughts on the quote from Jesus, “It is better to give than to receive.”  This post is following-up on the idea that there is a 3X the blessing in giving because you first receive, second develop, and third give.

In the previous two posts we talked about teaching.  First you learn, then you combine what you know with this new information, and then you share it with someone else.  You benefit from learning, you benefit from processing, and you benefit from giving.

Here is another example I like that shows the 3X increase.  You met someone new and benefit from the new relationship.  You develop that relationship, getting to know the person and sharing adventures.  You benefit from a growing relationship.  Then, you introduce that person to another one of your friends.  Blessings all around!

The struggle, I think, is when you apply this principle to money.  For some reason, some people think we should not benefit from money.  However, the same 3X factor applies to money and material resources.  Let’s say you receive a gift of $100.  You could just give the entire amount to someone else.  That would be a 2X benefit. 

Instead, let’s say you have some computer skills, so you buy an old computer for $100 and a few extra parts.  You spend a few days fixing up the computer and adding new programs.  Then, you donate the computer, now worth $400 to your local charity.  Do you see how you can add value to what you have received, and then bless others with this improved gift?

Some people feel like our monetary giving is limited to “giving back to God” our 10% tithe.  No thought, no added value, no personal investment … just put your money in the plate and you’re finished.  Not that I’m opposed to tithing.  But, I hope that people will begin to see the power of personal investment in their giving.  Receive, invest/improve/increase, then give.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Blessed - The Third Element

Warning!!  Before you read this post, it is absolutely essential that you read the previous post from May 25.  Failure to do so will result in brain overload because the math equation presented in this post is dramatically more complex than the math in the previous post.  And, the math in the previous post is the starting formula for today’s post.

OK, moving on now that you have read the May 25 post.  The equation in the previous post was really only part of the formula.  There’s more to the story.  To be more precise, there is another element in the equation.

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  (Acts 20:35)

The whole equation:  1+1+1=3

There is a blessing that comes from receiving.  There is a blessing that comes from giving.  And, in between, there is a blessing that comes from processing and producing with our own personality, experiences, and talents.

Let’s go back to the teaching example.  When you learn something new, you are blessed to receive more knowledge.  When you teach something to someone, you are blessed by sharing that information with someone else and watching them learn.

The additional element is the processing and preparation time between learning and teaching.  You take the new information, and add it with your previous knowledge and your previous experiences.  Then, through your own personality, goals, and talents you create what you will share.  You decide when to teach, identify who the students will be, how you will teach, and what you will include and exclude.

This middle step is what allows us to add our own impact on the act of sharing.  God has given each of us a unique set of talents, experiences, and level of understanding.  It is this unique personality that influences when and how and what we share with other people.

We are blessed when we receive + we are blessed with talents and knowledge and experiences that we use to prepare what we will share + we are blessed when we share with others = blessing upon blessing upon blessing!!