Living a generous and love filled life isn’t easy, is it? When we live in love it is more than saying the words, I love you, giving someone a cheesy Valentine’s Day Card like a picture of an orange that says, Orange you special, or even spending an enormous amount on a gift for someone. A gift that they probably don’t even need. While all of these things are nice and I enjoy getting a cheesy card as much as the next person , when someone says they love me I want more, I expect more. When love is given and shown in its truest form it doesn’t expect anything in return. I once heard it said , true generosity doesn’t care if it is tax-deductible. So our challenge is to make the choice to give, to serve and to love expecting nothing in return. Everyone can give. You can give something small. You can give something large. Just give.
For me the greatest example of giving is seen when Christ died on the cross for my sins. He came, he suffered and he died not knowing if I would accept him or love him back. Yet all he was concerned about was his great love for me and the fact that without his gift I would be lost. That motivated him to give the greatest gift even though he was promised nothing in return. I have a hard time even wrapping my head around that gift of love. You and I have to decide to just give, to serve and to love those in need with no assurance of receiving anything in return. I heard a story about someone who wanted to give to a cause but they really wanted to have their name on this list of top ten givers so they tried to find out what others were giving so that they could give just a little bit more so that their name could be on this list. Notoriety and being recognized is not bad the Bible even tells us to give honor to whom honor is due (Romans 13:7) so I am not saying it is wrong to thank people when you receive a gift or to recognize the giver. But, my hope is that we the giver are not making that the focus of our gift. The Bible says the Lord loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). I think that means we have to examine our motives when we give. What if each one of us gave because we truly wanted to give like Jesus? What if each one of us loved others even if the risk is that we won’t get love back? When we decide to give, to serve and to love like this we are being like Christ. We are not being asked to lay down our lives on a cross today but we are instructed to love others as Christ has loved us(John 13:34). Jesus also tells us that when we give to the least of all people we are actually giving to him(Matthew 25:35-40). Compassion Services International desires to share the love of Christ while giving and serving to meet the physical needs of those who will never be able to repay us. We can’t do this without the generosity and love of people just like you. Do you share this desire with us? You can visit www.compassionservices.org to find out more about ways you can help those in need around the world.
We also hope that you will find ways to share love and to give back in your local communities. Ready, Set, Give-Serve-Love! Smile at those you pass on the street, at work in the hall, at school or at the store. Do a chore for a family member or a neighbor. Spend time with an elderly person or someone who you know is lonely. Write notes of appreciation to people who have inspired you in some way. Hold the door for people, Say thank you when someone helps you, say hello to strangers you pass. Tell someone why they are special to you.
Our desire at CSI is that each one of us will get completely wrapped up in giving, in serving, in loving and in practicing compassion so that it becomes contagious. Together we can reach a world in need.